SpaceX, the US space exploration technology company, will launch its first manned mission on May 27th, using a manned Dragon spacecraft to send two NASA astronauts into space. The last manned space flight from the U.S. mainland was in July 2011, when NASA’s Atlantis spacecraft carried four astronauts from Florida to the International Space Station.
The manned mission, called Demo-2, was scheduled to launch in 2019 and suffered a number of setbacks. Now, with the safety check of the capsule completed, NASA and SpaceX are finally ready to fly. Here’s the information about this manned flight:
How to watch Demo-2 live
NASA will provide streaming media coverage of pre-launch, launch and docking activities on the International Space Station via NASA television.
Pre-launch reports began at 9:15 a.m. Pacific time on May 27, ahead of scheduled launch time (1:33 p.m. NASA television will provide continuous broadcasts from launch to docking. The manned Dragon spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station at 8:29 a.m. on Thursday, May 28.
Demo-2 is part of NASA’s commercial crew program, which involves two commercial space companies: SpaceX and Boeing. The two companies will be responsible for building and launching a crew capsule to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX has a history of launching cargo and payloads, but the launch is the first time the company has launched humans from Earth.
Launch time: Scheduled for Launch on Wednesday, May 27 at 1:33 p.m. Pacific Time and 4:33 p.m. EST.
Launch site: The Falcon 9 rocket and manned Dragon spacecraft will be launched from launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The historic launch pad was tasked with launching The Apollo and space shuttles.
The manned flight is also part of NASA’s commercial partnership. “By encouraging industrial companies to provide manned transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA can focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions,” NASA said. “
Spacecraft: The SpaceX Crew Dragon is a manned version of the Dragon 2 capsule, which was used to transport cargo to the International Space Station. While only two astronauts will be in space for the May 27 launch, the SpaceX manned Dragon spacecraft can carry up to seven passengers.
Rocket: SpaceX’s long-suffering Falcon 9 rocket will escort the manned Dragon spacecraft to complete the launch, it has been confirmed. NASA’s iconic “worm” logo will be affixed to the side of the Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 booster can be reused and will attempt to land in the Atlantic ocean with SpaceX’s drones.
Astronauts: NASA has appointed Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley as astronauts for the manned space flight in 2018. Both men have been on different space shuttle missions, and Hurley took part in the last mission of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011. They will wear spacesuits designed in-house by SpaceX.
Make history of manned flight
NASA sees SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission as a “new era of human space flight.”
In 2014, NASA awarded spaceX and Boeing contracts for commercial crew projects, with plans to put astronauts into space in 2017. But delays are common in spacecraft development, and both SpaceX and Boeing have experienced similar problems. Boeing is still trying to resolve a series of technical problems that arose during Starliner’s test flight at the end of 2019.
However, SpaceX successfully completed its “Demo-1” unmanned shuttle flight to the International Space Station in early 2019 and conducted a major flight suspension test at the beginning of the year, laying the groundwork for the launch of the Demo-2. The manned mission is called Demo-2 because it is still technically a “rehearsal” and not a mature space mission. The Demo-2 marks the final test of SpaceX and its manned Dragon spacecraft, and Elon Musk’s space company will receive the final certification of the manned spacecraft.
The Demo-2 is also the first time a two-person crew has launched from the U.S. mainland since the space shuttle Columbia’s fourth space mission in 1982.
Astronauts perform new crown tests
Bob Benken and Doug Hurley enter the pre-flight quarantine on May 13. Pre-launch isolation was standard procedure before the new coronavirus pandemic, but NASA added some additional steps to the process. “To prevent the virus, Hurley and Benken, as well as those in direct and close contact with the astronauts, will be tested twice for the virus,” NASA said in a statement in May. “