SpaceX and NASA have spent years working on today’s Crew-1 mission, which will begin in Florida at: 27: 5 PM EST (PM: 3 PM PM PST). This is the first time that SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule and Falcon 9 rocket will be officially used as a NASA-certified spacecraft for human flight on a regular astronaut transport operation. NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Waker, JXA astronaut Sochi Noguchi, will also be aboard the Dragon spacecraft and will rule out any weather delays on their way to the International Space Station on Sunday night.
SpaceX has already blown people up using dragons – NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley took pride in being the first humans to be launched for the ISS aboard a commercial spacecraft when they participated in SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission earlier this year. It’s obviously a historic milestone, but it was also technically the last phase of SpaceX’s testing and demonstration program for the Dragon and Falcon 9, while today’s Crew-1 launch no longer qualifies as a test. Think of it this way: If the Demo-2 were like the Wright Brothers’ Kitty Hawk flight, Crew-1 would have made its first U.S. flight in 1914 Will be the equivalent of a scheduled commercial airline flight.
Crew-1 will be the first time a full complement of astronauts will be flown on a dragon (there are six seats in total but NASA has said it will only be able to fly four of its own and partner agency crew on these flights). The astronauts will join the existing crew on the ISS for regular trips to perform experiments, station maintenance and improvements, which will increase the ISS population active by an additional astronaut for the first time during standard orbit, meaning more could happen, according to the science agency.
The launch system is designed to be fully automated, meaning that launching it all the way through docking with ISS does not require any action from the crew on board. The same is true of the return trip, which will take place next June.
SpaceX will also attempt to recover a first-stage booster used during the launch, using its autonomous drone landing ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Everything should start close to the target time of the lift target, but NASA will also have all-day programming related to the Crew-1 mission, the Dragon program and much more through the livestream above.
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