We are ready, are you? #launchAmerica
NASA and SpaceX are on course to make history today by launching two astronauts inside the Crew Dragon capsule from US soil for the first time since 2011.
Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:03 A.M IST on May 28, in a spacecraft built by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company.
Space Shuttle retired a decade ago and since then US has been paying Russia $80 million per seat to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA awarded SpaceX and Boeing with contracts worth $3.1 billion and $4.8 billion, respectively, to develop new spacecraft under a program called Commercial Crew. Boeing, however, stumbled in last December during the uncrewed test of its spacecraft due to a software problem. On the other hand, SpaceX also encountered various failures however quickly recovered. The success of Demo-2 launch represents the final flight test of Crew Dragon capsule, built to carry as many as seven people to orbit. This journey will be very different from the earlier eras of Human Spaceflight by representing the first-ever collaboration of public-private entity for human space flight missions.
This moment will be captured by various platforms online and there is no in-person engagement at the launch site due to Covid-19. There are various platforms hosting watch party and panel discussions throughout the launch. NASA has also provided the opportunity for a virtual experience and you can register on https://www.eventbrite.com/e/launch-america-registration-101721692320 for virtual launch experience and launch updates.
Platforms to witness the upcoming launch
- NASA Live
- NASA’s YouTube channel
- NASA App for iOS
- NASA App for Android
- SpaceX’s YouTube page
Schedule for NASA’s webcast (ET):
Thursday, May 28 (ET)
- 7:20 a.m. — Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
- 11:39 a.m. — Docking
- 1:55 p.m. — Hatch Open
- 2:25 p.m. — Welcome ceremony
- 4:15 p.m. — Post-Arrival News Conference at Johnson
Friday, May 29
- 11:05 a.m. — Space Station crew news conference, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley
- 12:50 p.m. — SpaceX employee event and Class of 2020 Mosaic presentation, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley