Today SpaceX will launch a rocket to dock with the International Space Station. And while it sounds old to the business at this point, this time is different. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts will launch into orbit from the United States. And you can watch it on Youtube, the SpaceX website, or NASA website 4 p.m. EST.
Update, 05/27/20: SpaceX had to postpone the launch due to weather issues. This decision was made approximately 16 minutes before takeoff. SpaceX will attempt another launch on Saturday May 30 at 3:33 p.m. EST.
In 2011, NASA stopped launching astronauts into space. The idea was to entrust these tasks to private companies in the future. Since then, all NASA astronauts and international partners have flown in space on Russian Soyuz capsules.
Although SpaceX has apparently mastered the incredible task of launching rockets into orbit and then catching pieces of it for reuse, it hasn’t launched people into space until today. The company has worked in this direction for six years and has experienced setbacks along the way.
Last year, a Crew Dragon capsule exploded during a ground test, and the company has already seen rocket malfunctions. One thing that sets SpaceX apart is the way it publicly shows failures, choosing to call them “gifts” that lead to safer vehicles.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will take off from the company’s launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, today at 4 p.m. EST. Two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will board the capsule, then refueling will begin. If all goes well and the weather continues, takeoff should take place at 4.33 p.m.
Once in orbit, the Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Crew Dragon capsule, which will begin a 19-hour journey to the International Space Station. Along the way, the crew will carry out manual flight tests before finally docking with the station.
The weather is always a critical point with the sending of a rocket in orbit, and if it does not hold, SpaceX can rub and reschedule the launch. You can watch the launch on Youtube, the SpaceX website, and NASA website.