How to watch SpaceX Crew Dragon launch

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley walk out of the Operations and Checkout Building on their way to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center

With 2 1/2 hours to go before liftoff, controllers put the chances of launch at just 40 per cent because of thunderstorms at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Nasa is set to send two astronauts to the International Space Station this afternoon, in a historic mission that marks the first crewed launch from USA soil in nearly a decade.

"We as astronauts, you cherish every flight assignment if you want to continue to fly in space", Hurley said.

Wednesday's scheduled flight - referred to by the Nasa administrator, Jim Bridenstine, as "the big show" - is the first with astronauts from United States soil under the space agency's commercial crew program, an initiative to hand over lower earth orbit spaceflight to private contractors while it concentrates on deeper-space ambitions such as a return to the moon. 'We'll see it fifteen minutes after it launches in America, around 9.51 and onwards, over Britain'. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to be in attendance at the Kennedy Space Center for the launch.

It's also a national milestone, the first time since 2011 that American astronauts have gone to space from American soil.

With Tropical Storm Bertha churning over SC, there was a risk of high waves causing safety criteria violations at possible emergency splashdown sites in the Atlantic.

If that happens, the next launch window would be on Saturday afternoon. There are several platforms on which NASA is hosting a stream of the event, including YouTube and Twitch, but lucky for you, you can also watch it right here.

"As a pilot my whole career having a certain way to control a vehicle, this is certainly different", Hurley said during a news conference held on May 1. Boeing's had a rough couple of years, and its recent failure to send the Starliner to the ISS without a crew aboard ensured that SpaceX would have the opportunity to send a crewed mission first. The space agency is shifting into the role of a customer, purchasing rockets, capsule, and other crafts from SpaceX, with interest in doing the same with other companies in the future. Today could potentially open the flood gates to a more expansive private space travel sector and set the stage for Musk's broader goal of getting humans to Mars.

The goal of Demo-2 was to perform the first crewed test flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX simulated its emergency abort system in January on an unmanned spacecraft, the last major test before it plans to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. It's situated on a launch pad at legendary Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida's Cape Canaveral.

The official Demo-2 SpaceX launch time is 4:33pm EDT.

Hurley (the spacecraft commander) and Behnken (the joint operations commander) are NASA astronauts, engineers and both former members of US military (Hurley is a former marine, while Behnken was in the US Air Force).

During their time in space, they astronauts will become a part of Expedition 63, the current mission with crew already stationed on the ISS.



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