After nearly a decade, NASA-SpaceX will undertake the human space launch from North America.
This historic event, named Demo-2, is set for Wednesday, May 27, 2020, when two American astronauts will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS)from American soil on an American rocket.
The human spaceflight is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, will be departing for an extended stay at the ISS for the Demo-2 mission. They will be flying on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft which will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
This is the first launch mission from the Unites States since space shuttle Atlantis lifted off for the final flight of NASA’s shuttle program. Since then, the US has been relying on Russian vehicles for manned flights. As the name implies, this mission is a test flight. If all goes well, this will serve as the final flight test for SpaceX and will validate the company’s crew transportation system, Crew Dragon and Falcon 9.
SpaceX already has a contract with NASA to fly six operational crewed missions to and from the ISS; the first of which will be on this year if all goes well with Demo-2. Boeing with CST-100 Starliner also holds a commercial crew contract with NASA. In addition, Virgin Galactic is getting ready for commercial operations with SpaceShipTwo space planes. Also on the race for commercial flights is Amazon’s Blue Origin. A new era of space flights is about to begin!
What: As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.
When: Rescheduled to Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 3:22 p.m.
4:33 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 (scrubbed due to bad weather)
How to watch: The launch will be live-streamed on Youtube
The public can attend the launch virtually by registering at https://www.nasa.gov/beourguest.