How to Watch When SpaceX Crew Dragon Launches

NASA           NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken

"Now the only thing we need to do is figure out how to control the weather", she said Monday evening as rain continued to drench the area. Teams are targeting 4:33 p.m. EDT for the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Then, it'll dock and open the hatch around 2 hours later.

Once operations aboard the ISS are complete, the astronauts will return to the Crew Dragon and wait while it autonomously undocks from the space station and brings them home.

"It's really a dynamic situation that's developing across Florida", said Mike McAleenan, the space wing's launch weather officer, at the same news conference. All of this will require heavy-launch and crew-launch capability from U.S. soil.

The Demo-2 launch, should it proceed as planned, will mark a major step forward for NASA's Commercial Crew program.

"I would say it's looking OK", said Daniel Forrestel, launch integration manager for NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Thursday's launch of the manned Crew Dragon was scrubbed due to "unfavorable weather in the flight path", according to a SpaceX tweet. "The ISS team is ready to support the docking of Crew Dragon". Just before returning the capsule to Earth, Boeing personnel discovered more bad code which, if it had gone undetected, may have caused the loss of the spacecraft.

Less than a month later, in January, SpaceX blew up one of its own rockets to prove, in an uncrewed "in-flight abort" test, that the Crew Dragon system can detect a fatal in-flight event and whisk astronauts away from danger. That milestone paved the way to this Wednesday's launch, which could upset Boeing's presumed spaceflight supremacy. Tune in starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT as NASA and SpaceX provide joint, live coverage from launch to arrival at the space station. Paraphrased in the infamous words of Bob & Doug McKenzie, the Demo-2 Launch Readiness Review panel's message regarding NASA's and SpaceX's plans for Wednesday were clear: they are planning to "Take off, eh!"

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As it was a sole-source market, it cost NASA a cool $85.4m per seat on a Soyuz rocket. NASA confirmed there were "no issues" with the Falcon 9 rocket or Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Born in St. Anne, Missouri, Bob Behnken has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force before joining NASA.

The estimated price for a Crew Dragon seat is roughly $55m, while a seat on Starliner is thought to be about $90m.

This is the culmination of many years' work, and will be the first human flight for the Commercial Crew program. "An incredible amount of testing".

NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine spoke at a post review news conference stating that the FRR was a "time to speak up if there are any challenges and there were".

Having a life-long interest in crewed space flight, Desforges' passion materialized on a family vacation in 1999 when he was able see the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-96. If all goes well, SpaceX could then begin flying astronauts during regular operational missions for ferrying astronauts to and from the Space Station as early as later this year. As he outlined the various weather systems and fronts which are collectively contributing to the now 40% chance that there would be a violation against the launch weather criteria, his choice of words to summarize the situation seemed fitting, given that he was talking about a mission featuring two astronauts, named Bob (Behnken) and Doug (Hurley).

After launch, weather permitting, it will take 19 hours for the Crew Dragon to reach the ISS.

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