Watch SpaceX Launch NASA Astronauts to Space Live Right Here

James Marshall
May 28, 2020

SpaceX's launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station with a pair of NASA astronauts aboard the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft is set for Wednesday, with Elon Musk's space company eyeing a liftoff window that opens at 4:33 PM ET/1:33 PM PT at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. It's the first such launch on American soil in almost a decade - since NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011. They'll also hear from astronauts, engineers and other experts, including one commenting from the International Space Station.

Ms Walker is a member of the next SpaceX mission scheduled to launch later this year. "#LaunchAmerica is on", tweeted NASA shortly before 3 p.m. EDT.

It'll also be streamed online here and CBSN with pre-launch coverage starting at noon eastern.

Today's mission from Launch Complex 39A in Florida is historic for another reason too. "It's an era when space is going to be available to more people than ever before".

Here is the latest on the milestone launch for the USA space program.

NASA tweeted the postponement minutes before the Falcon 9 rocket was set to blast two US astronauts and the Dragon Crew capsule into space. The Demo-2 launch will also make history as the first human-based rocket launch since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. NASA could then be free to focus on shooting for the stars.

SpaceX is sending Americans to space from American soil for the first time since 2011. The astronauts arrived for the May 27th scheduled inaugural flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft.

- Why is this mission so important?

The interior of the Crew Dragon.

Another interesting change is in the gloves, which must be durable yet flexible, and at the same time conductive - because the astronauts operate the Dragon capsule via touchscreen. The crew is seated in the capsule after crossing the crew access arm and the crew arm has retracted. Their suits are specially designed for the capsule, mirroring the black-and-white theme of the interior.

Musk's SpaceX prepares for upcoming astronaut mission, renewing NASA's crewed launch program
NASA Astronaut Robert Behnken Ready for Today's Historic SpaceX Crew Dragon Liftoff

But the capsule design has considerable safety advantages. "Commercial crews then filling in the low-Earth orbit".

Mr Hurley, 53, who also flew the US's space shuttle in its final 2011 mission, and Mr Behnken, 49, are expected to spend one to four months on the space station, with the main objective of the mission being to test the Crew Dragon's operations and safety.

Robert Behnken during a test run of the Crew Dragon ahead of the launch.

After years of serving in the U.S. Marine Corp as a test pilot, NASA selected Hurley as an astronaut candidate in 2000. CNN and MSNBC said they will break into regular programming for the launch but did not provide details.

SpaceX successfully tested Crew Dragon without astronauts past year in its first orbital mission to the space station.

Behnken and Hurley don't have a set return date to Earth, though.

The Demo-2 mission launch can be watched here. The astronauts plan to dock with the ISS and remain there for an indeterminate period.

The launch, flight and docking at the ISS will be carried on multiple platforms across TV and livestream services. Once that's complete, Boeing will be beside SpaceX, launching American astronauts and their global partners once again. And one thing that often comes along with competition is innovation.

There hasn't been a Space Race for the past decade.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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