Spacex To Launch First Astronauts To Space Station From U.S. Since 2011

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is scheduled to launch its first crewed mission, a test flight called Demo-2 as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Image via NASA

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Behnken and Hurley were among the first astronauts to begin working and training on SpaceX’s next-generation human space vehicle and were selected for their extensive test pilot and flight experience, including several missions on the space shuttle.

Image via NASA

On this mission, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will don SpaceX’s spacesuits, be transported to the launch pad, and board SpaceX’s next-generation spacecraft.

Image via NASA

Once in orbit, the crew and SpaceX mission control will verify the vehicle is performing as intended by testing the environmental control system, the displays and control system, and the maneuvering thrusters, among other things.

Crew Dragon will be in position to rendezvous and dock with the space station. Crew Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but crew onboard the spacecraft and the Space Station will diligently monitor the performance of the spacecraft as it approaches and docks.

Image via NASA

ISS Docking
Crew Dragon will perform a series of phasing maneuvers to gradually approach and autonomously dock with the International Space Station on Thursday, May 28, at approximately 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Image via NASA

Return Flight
At the conclusion of the mission, Behnken and Hurley will board Crew Dragon, which will then autonomously undock, depart the space station, and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

And they’re off! Farewell to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Here we come International Space Station#LaunchAmerica

And Liftoff! Of the Crew Dragon

And they're off! 🚀👨‍🚀👨‍🚀 Farewell to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Here we come International Space Station! #LaunchAmerica

Posted by NASA 360 on Saturday, 30 May 2020
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