News

SpaceX’s first crewed spacecraft is set to launch tomorrow

NASA and SpaceX are set to make history this Wednesday, launching a spacecraft carrying two astronauts from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

The project has finally been given the green light after being stalled for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NASA

NASA and SpaceX are about to launch their first crewed spacecraft after being given the green light

US President Donald Trump will be among the spectators who are gathering to witness the launch of Space X’s Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon spacecraft bearing astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

The general public have been advised to tune into the live-stream on NASA live, in-keeping with social distancing requirements.

Both NASA and SpaceX have announced that the vehicle has passed the final flight readiness review, the final step following a dry dress rehearsal conducted last Friday.

The launch will mark the first-ever human spaceflight for SpaceX, and the first time astronauts have launched from US soil since 2011. The launch will see the pair leave the US to dock at the International Space Station nineteen hours later, where they will spend 19 hours on orbit, with orbit-raising burns and also a manual flight test. The departure date from the ISS remains unknown at this stage but will be clarified by NASA.

The only threat to the launch, at this stage, is the 60% chance of unfavourable weather conditions according to Cape Canaveral forecasters, and agency officials have noted that this figure is trending upwards in a press conference earlier today.

SpaceX and NASA will be paying close attention to the weather between now and Wednesday, flagging a backup launch date of May 30 should conditions continue to deteriorate.