In July 2011, NASA launched the Space Shuttle Atlantis from Florida to the International Space Station. This was the last time that people took off from US soil to enter orbit. The long drought soon ends when Elon Musk̵
The mission called Demo-2 had. With However, NASA and SpaceX are finally ready to fly. We have summarized everything you need to know about the start and when and where you can get involved.
What is the demo 2 mission?
Demo-2 is part ofThe two commercial space companies SpaceX and Boeing build and launch crew pods that can be used to transport astronauts to and from the ISS.
SpaceX has a long history of cargo and payload launches, but this is the first time the company has sent people off this rock.
When: The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday, May 27th at 1:33 p.m. PT / 4: 33 p.m. ET, but the weather did not cooperate. SpaceX is now aiming for the first backup start time of 12:22 p.m. PT / 3: 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 30th. The next opportunity after that is on Sunday, May 31 at 12:00. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET.
Where: The Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon capsule are launched by Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Apollo and space shuttle missions were previously housed on the historic launch pad.
Why: NASA’s Commercial Crew Program aims to end the US’s dependence on Russian spacecraft for the transfer of astronauts to the ISS. NASA has been buying Soyuz capsule seats since the end of the shuttle program.
This is also part of NASA’s broader pursuit of commercial partnerships. “By encouraging industry to provide human transportation services to and from near-Earth orbit, NASA can expand its focus on building spacecraft and missiles for space missions,” said the space agency.
The spaceship: The SpaceX Crew Dragon is the human transport version of the Dragon 2 capsule that was used to transport cargo to the ISS. While only two astronauts will be on board at the end of May, the capsule can be configured for up to seven passengers.
The rocket: SpaceX’s proven Falcon 9 rocket will accompany Crew Dragon through the launch. The iconic relapse of NASA. Falcon 9s have successfully launched dozens of SpaceX missions.
The Booster Falcon 9 is reusable and will attempt to land on a SpaceX drone ship based in the Atlantic.
The crew: NASAback in 2018. Both were on different shuttle missions in space, with Hurley flying on the last flight of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011 .
The goal: If SpaceX passes the demo during Demo-2, NASA certifies Crew Dragon for regular flights to the ISS. The space agency is already looking at this result and hasthat could start before the end of the year if everything goes well.
NASA announced on May 22 that Demo-2 had passed its flight readiness test and was released for takeoff.
How to follow the Demo 2 mission live
NASA will stream the pre-launch activities and start on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET on NASA TV. The start time depends on the good weather conditions both at the start location and in the sea, where the team capsule would spray off during the start in an emergency. SpaceX will also provide a launch webcast.
NASA TV will also cover the spacecraft docking process. Crew Dragon will fly approximately 19 hours before reaching the ISS.
Visit the CNET team for a live commentary and coverage of the launch on Saturday, May 30th at 12:00 noon (PT / 3:00 p.m.). ET.
Musk tweeted on May 22 that he would follow the event from mission control in Florida. Musk described the mission as the “culmination of a truly incredible amount of work by SpaceX and NASA engineers, with the support of all countries of the International Space Station”.
NASA sees the SpaceX Demo 2 mission as the beginning of a “new era in human space travel”.
In 2014, NASA awarded the original contracts for the Commercial Crew Program to SpaceX and Boeing to launch astronauts in 2017. Delays in the development of spacecraft are common, and both SpaceX and Boeing had problems with hiccups. Boeing is still working on a number ofEnd of 2019.
SpaceX, howeverEarly 2019 and and prepares the stage for Demo-2. It’s called Demo-2 because it’s technically still a “demonstration” rather than a full-fledged space mission. It marks the final test for SpaceX and its Crew Dragon capsule and enables Elon Musk’s space company to achieve human certification of its spacecraft.
All systems are intended for SpaceX and NASA when a historic astronaut is launched
Demo-2 will also be the first time a two-man NASA crew has launched from the United States since the Space Shuttle Columbia left for space in 1982 on the program’s fourth mission.
“This is a unique moment when all of America can take a moment and look at our country to do something breathtaking again,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a press conference on Tuesday in Demo-2.
Meet the NASA astronauts
Behnken and Hurley entered preflight quarantine on May 13. Prelaunch quarantines were standard practice prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but NASA will add some additional steps to the process. “As a precaution, Hurley and Behnken, as well as those who are in direct, close contact with the crew, are tested twice for the virus,” NASA said in a statement in May.
Bob Behnken: NASA selected Behnken, an experienced Air Force pilot, as an astronaut in 2000. The last time he visited space in 2010 was on a shuttle mission. He has spent 708 hours in space, 37 of which were recorded from spacewalks.
Behnken tweeted on May 12 that he had to get his little son’s approval before the start.
Doug Hurley: Hurley, a retired marine, was also selected as an astronaut in 2000. As a veteran of two space missions, he was last in orbit on NASA’s last shuttle mission in 2011. This adds some poetry to Hurley’s assignment to Demo-2. He was one of the last astronauts to launch from US soil and will be one of the first to do so again.
Hurley shared his own son’s drawing by Crew Dragon in late April.
NASA has not yet decided exactly how long Behnken and Hurley will remain on the ISS. “In addition to carrying out research and other tasks with the crew of the space station, you will also perform tests on Crew Dragon,” said NASA. The astronauts return with Crew Dragon and splash around in the Atlantic, where they are greeted by a SpaceX recovery ship.
May 30 marks an important milestone in space history. It’s not just about the patriotic overtones of launching American astronauts from American soil with an American rocket.
SpaceX and NASA will catch a thread in human space flight and fill the gap created by the decommissioning of the Space Shuttles. We’re pretty good at sending robot researchers to distant locations in the solar system, but stakes are always higher when it comes to human lives. The world will watch.