SpaceX’s NASA launch is scheduled to take place this afternoon and thousands of people are expected to watch it live. This is the final step before NASA certifies the Crew Dragon for long-duration missions to the space station. After the launch, the Crew Dragon will fly to the International Space Station. This is the first human flight to space from the Kennedy Space Center in nine years, NASA shared. You can watch the launch in a video later in this story.
According to current plans, as released by NASA, the launch will take place at the following time in different timezones:
- 4:33 p.m. Eastern
- 3:33 p.m. Central
- 2:300 p.m. Mountain
- 1:33 p.m. Pacific
- 12:33 p.m. Alaska
- 10:33 a.m. Hawaii
Note that exact liftoff times can change with little warning depending on weather updates and other factors. Thunderstorms and wind near the region might end up delaying the launch.
If today’s launch is canceled because of thunderstorms in the region or win, the first backup date is Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 p.m. Eastern. The next backup date is Sunday, May 31 at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Watch a Live Stream Video of the Launch Below
If you want to watch the launch live, just view the live stream below, provided by NASA.
The launch is targeted for 4:33 p.m. Eastern, but the live stream coverage in the video will begin at 12:15 p.m. Eastern with joint coverage from NASA and SpaceX.
Another live video from SpaceX is below.
A Crew Demo-2 Mission Control Audio only feed is below.
NASA has shared what we can expect to happen after liftoff and the anticipated timeline for May 27:
Wednesday, May 27
- 12:15 p.m. Eastern – NASA TV Launch coverage begins
- 4:33 p.m. Eastern – Liftoff
- 5:22 p.m. Eastern – Crew Dragon phase burn
- 6:05 p.m. Eastern – Far-field manual flight test
- 7:05 p.m. Eastern – Astronaut downlink even from Crew Dragon
- 7:30 p.m. Eastern – Administrator postlaunch news conference at Kennedy
Thursday, May 28
- 7:20 a.m. Eastern – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
- 11:39 a.m. Eastern – Docking with the space station
- 1:55 p.m. Eastern – Hatch open
- 4:15 p.m. Eastern – Post-arrival news conference at Johnson
Friday, May 29
- 11:05 a.m. Eastern – Space Station crew news conference with NASA astronauts
- 12:50 p.m. Eastern – SpaceX employee event and Class of 2020 Mosaic presentation with NASA astronauts
Washington Post has a live stream below.
After the Crew Dragon lifts off, it will accelerate the astronauts to 17,000 mph to intercept with the International Space Station, NASA shared. Once in orbit, the crew will verify that the Crew Dragon is performing correctly through maneuvering thrusters and performing other tests. After about 24 hours, the Crew Dragon will dock with the space station. After docking, the crew members will become members of the Expedition 63 crew and perform tests on the Crew Dragon along with research tasks on the space station. The Crew Dragon can stay in orbit for 110 days, but the exact duration of this mission is being determined. The operational Crew Dragon used later will be able to stay in orbit for at least 210 days, per NASA requirements.
When the expedition ends, the Crew Dragon will undock with both astronauts on board and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, splashing down off Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The SpaceX Go Navigator recovery vessel will pick up the Crew Dragon and return to Cape Canaveral. The date of this part of the flight is still being determined.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A in Florida for an extended stay at the space station for the Demo-2 mission. This is the final test flight for SpaceX and the first time NASA astronauts test the system in orbit.
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