NASA has said it will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.
In preparation for Demo-2, SpaceX has completed a number of major milestones for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program including an end-to-end test flights and in-flight launch escape capability.
SpaceX has also completed over 700 tests of the spacecraft’s SuperDraco engines, which fired together at full throttle can power Dragon 0.5 miles away from Falcon 9 in 7.5 seconds, accelerating the vehicle more than 400 mph.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting 4:32 p.m. EDT Wednesday, 27th May, 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 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 11:29am on Thursday 28th May.
The Falcon 9 is a hybrid liquid rocket in that in addition to the liquid oxygen, it burns rocket-grade kerosene in its two stages, the second of which is not reusable.
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.