NASA and SpaceX are go for historic launch

SpaceX Falcon 9

Launched atop the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon will accelerate to approximately 17,000 miles per hour, according to NASA, placing the capsule on course for the International Space Station.

Images from NASA and footage from SpaceX show the Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft in position on the launch pad as preparations continue for Demo-2 a week before the historic launch.

NASA still hasn't decided how long the astronauts will stay in space.

United States astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are scheduled to blast off from Kennedy's historic Launch Pad 39A at 4:33 pm (20:33 UTC) on Wednesday for the International Space Station, arriving the next day.

NASA's contracts with SpaceX and Boeing Co.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are being prepared for the historic Demo-2 mission that will launch NASA astronauts into space from US soil for the first time since 2011.

The completion of the FRR, though, does not mean the end of preparations for the launch. NASA has only one crew member now aboard the station. The agency hired both SpaceX and Boeing to deliver safe, reliable hardware that it could use to send astronauts into space whenever it wanted, without paying for seats on Russian rockets. Commercial Crew is NASA's attempt to develop strong public-private partnerships with companies to help defray the cost of sending people to space from the U.S.

And on Monday (May 25) comes the final launch readiness review, which will incorporate analyses of the data from the static fire and the dry dress along with other information, NASA officials said.

Now, with the launch fast approaching, it's an all-hands-on-deck scenario for SpaceX and NASA staff at Kennedy.

The launch is now set for Wednesday at 4:33 p.m. from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He noted that SpaceX tweaked the Crew Dragon's design after last year's successful uncrewed demonstration flight to the space station, to address a potential collision risk that the Russians called to attention. SpaceX has to prove that its spacecraft is safe and fully functional, and any issues that pop up during the mission will surely end up on the company's to-do list. Russian Federation has provided the sole crew transport since the space shuttle's retirement. It has left the window open for a variety of options including a short visit of weeks or a much longer, months-long tour. That includes the Russian space agency Roscosmos, which had concerns previous year about the uncrewed Demo-1 mission to the station.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.



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