Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are scheduled to launch on the first manned SpaceX mission to the International Space Station at 4:33 pm on Wednesday. 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.
“The instantaneous launch window opens at 4:33 p.m. EDT, or 20:33 UTC, with backup instantaneous launch opportunities available on Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC, and on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, or 19:00 UTC,” according to SpaceX. Tune in here to watch the launch webcast. Coverage will begin about 4 hours before liftoff.
They add: “[This] 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.”
“If the launch is successful, the astronaut duo will spend about 19 hours orbiting Earth before attempting to rendezvous and dock at the space station at 11:29 a.m. ET Thursday,” NBC News reports.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk talked about the launch with CBS This Morning.