SpaceX is ready to finally achieve the goal it set out for itself. From the famous Falcon 9 to Crew Dragon spacecraft, everything had been leading up to this moment and now, it is finally here. SpaceX will launch its first passengers into Space on Crew Demo-2, which will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station.
The flight is supposed to take off from Kennedy Space Center at 4:33 PM EDT (1:33 PM PDT). However, the timing might change based on weather conditions. Still, the company claims that it won’t be an issue, since they can call off the entire thing even just 45 minutes before the scheduled time. If that situation were to arise, backup slots of May 30 and May 31 have been set free.
This will be the last “testing” phase of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, after which the company will honour its agreement with NASA and start making regular trips to the International Space Station. This will also mark the beginning of a new phase of space exploration for America. The people on the Demo 2 shall become the first Americans to enter space from a spacecraft taking off american soil after NASA ended the Space Shuttle Program in 2011. Ever since then, NASA has been relying on Russia to conduct operations, which can’t be sweet for the space organisation.
NASA had entered in a partnership with SpaceX and Boeing after the space shuttle program, with the two companies promising to build spacecrafts to carry american astronauts to space. While SpaceX has witnessed great success and is inches away from honouring its pledge, Boeing seems to be running into one problem after another, the unpleasant test flight of the CST-100 Starliner vehicle being the latest.
Nonetheless, after this mission is completed, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, powered by the Falcon 9 rocket, will carry 4 astronauts to the ISS, including U.S. astronauts Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. The company also plans on starting commercial flights for space enthusiasts very soon. All that and more awaits SpaceX, if the operation today is successful.