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May 4th, 2020

NASA to Provide Coverage of SpaceX Commercial Crew Test Flight with Astronauts



NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission will return U.S human spaceflight to the International Space Station from U.S. soil with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on an American rocket and spacecraft for the first time since 2011. In March 2020, at a SpaceX processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, SpaceX successfully completed a fully integrated test of critical crew flight hardware ahead of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission to the International Space Station for NASA's Commercial Crew Program; the first flight test with astronauts onboard the spacecraft. Behnken and Hurley participated in the test, which included flight suit leak checks, spacecraft sound verification, display panel and cargo bin inspections, seat hardware rotations, and more Credits: NASA

 

It's a first, and something the U.S. has been wanting to accomplish for a long time. And now it's almost time for the launch of SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities that are a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011.

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 4:32 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 27, for the launch of the Demo-2 flight, which will be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft will carry humans to the space station. The launch, as well as other activities leading up to the launch, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11:29 a.m. Thursday, May 28. 

This will be SpaceX’s final test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and will provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations. 

The test flight also will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX currently is readying the hardware for the first rotational mission, which would happen after data from this mission is reviewed for NASA’s certification.