After NASA and SpaceX's first attempt to launch Crew Dragon Demo-2 into space on Wednesday was scrapped due to bad weather, the launch is now scheduled for Saturday, May 30. The first-of-its-kind spacecraft launch will put astronauts in the space in spacecraft built by a private company SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
Things to know about SpaceX's Demo-2 launch
According to NASA, the first launch attempt will now take place over the weekend at 19:22 UTC. The veteran astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley lift off from Kennedy Space Centre Launch Complex 39A to the International Space Station in the first crewed test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft atop Falcon 9 rocket. In the third spaceflight of their careers, Hurley will serve as spacecraft commander alongside Behnken, the joint operations commander. Meanwhile, backing up the two primary commanders of the spaceflight for the mission is Kjell Lindgren.
Apart from being the first-ever collaboration between NASA and a private company like SpaceX by Elon Musk, this happens to be the first mission in almost 10 years since astronauts were sent in space from the US. The last time NASA sent its astronauts in the orbit was in 2011 in a space shuttle mission known as STS-135, which had Hurley as the pilot.
Meanwhile, the launch in the orbit is the final test for Space X's capsule to get the human-rated certification from the space agency's Commercial Crew Programme to carry out further manned spaceflight operations using SpaceX hardware. During the flight, astronauts will carry out a few flight tests and fly to the space station, controlling the spacecraft manually, and docking with the space station. Hurley and Behnken will be working with the crew of Expedition 63 for the next 30 to 90 days and they shall return to earth no later than August 28 this year. Upon their arrival to Earth, the spacecraft will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean where they will be received by recovery ship Space X's Go Navigator.
How to watch the launch live online
If the launch goes as planned this Saturday, viewers can watch the event live online. Both NASA and SpaceX are live streaming the event which is scheduled to begin four hours before the launch. NASA's live coverage begins at 11:00 am on Saturday. It can be viewed on NASA Television on the its website and YouTube Channel. Meanwhile, SpaceX will be live streaming the event on its website, too.