Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are scheduled to launch on the first manned SpaceX mission to the International Space Station at 3:22 pm ET on Saturday, after a scheduled Wednesday lift-off scrubbed due to weather. It will be the first manned liftoff from the U.S. on American-made rockets and spacecraft since 2011. The launch could usher in a new era of privatized space flight.
Writes SpaceX: “After standing down from launch on Saturday May 27, SpaceX is now targeting Saturday, May 30 for Falcon 9’s launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft will return human spaceflight to the United States. The instantaneous launch window opens at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC, with a backup instantaneous launch opportunity available on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, or 19:00 UTC. Tune in here to watch the launch webcast. Coverage will begin about 4 hours before liftoff.”
“Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.”
SpaceX founder Elon Musk talked about the launch with CBS This Morning.