SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are being ready for the historic Demo-2 mission that may launch NASA astronauts into house from U.S. soil for the primary time since 2011.
A photograph launched by NASA on Thursday confirmed the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon being raised right into a vertical place on Kennedy Area Heart’s launch pad 39A, which was additionally used for the Apollo and house shuttle packages. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are scheduled to launch at 4:33 p.m. EDT on Could 27.
It will likely be the primary time a personal firm, quite than a nationwide authorities, sends astronauts into orbit.
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“A brand new period of human spaceflight is ready to start,” mentioned NASA in a press release accompanying the picture.
SpaceX additionally tweeted a time-lapse video of the preparations Thursday.
Launched atop the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon will speed up to roughly 17,000 mph, in accordance with NASA, putting the capsule on track for the Worldwide Area Station.
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Hurley and Behnken flew to Kennedy Area Heart on Wednesday, precisely one week earlier than their historic SpaceX flight.
Beneath regular circumstances, giant crowds would have been anticipated to witness the historic launch however, citing considerations in regards to the coronavirus pandemic, NASA has urged individuals to remain away. A whole lot of 1000’s of individuals flocked to the world close to Kennedy Area Heart for the final shuttle launch in July 2011, in accordance with Spaceflight Now.
Earlier this week, former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, a veteran of two house shuttle missions, informed Fox Information that he’s eagerly awaiting the historic launch. “Launching astronauts from American soil is large,” he mentioned.
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STS-135, the final house shuttle mission, launched from Kennedy Area Heart on July 8, 2011. The house shuttle Atlantis carried 4 NASA astronauts on the mission to resupply the ISS, in addition to an experiment for robotically refueling satellites in house.
Since then, the U.S. has relied on Russian Soyuz rockets launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to get astronauts into house. Russia fees the U.S. about $75 million to ship an astronaut into house.
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Final week, NASA agreed to pay Russian house company Roscosmos $90 million for one closing seat on considered one of its Soyuz rockets.
Fox Information’ Kristin Fisher, Lauren Blanchard and The Related Press contributed to this text. Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers