How to watch SpaceX launch NASA astronauts to the ISS in Demo-2 mission - CNET
May 22, 2020 2 mins, 6 secs

A Falcon 9 rocket will to carry two astronauts from US soil to the space station on May 27.

In July 2011, NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis launched from Florida to the International Space Station.

The long drought should soon be over as SpaceX prepares to send two NASA astronauts to the ISS inside a purpose-built Crew Dragon capsule.

Demo-2 is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which involves two commercial spaceflight companies, SpaceX and Boeing, building and launching crew capsules designed to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS. .

Where: The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule will blast off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The historic launch pad has previously hosted Apollo and space shuttle missions.

The spacecraft: The SpaceX Crew Dragon is the human transportation version of the Dragon 2 capsule that has been used to carry cargo to the ISS.

The crew: NASA assigned astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to Crew Dragon back in 2018.

Both have been to space on different shuttle missions, with Hurley flying on the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011.

The goal: If SpaceX passes muster during Demo-2, then NASA will certify Crew Dragon for regular flights back and forth to the ISS.

The space agency is already looking ahead to this outcome and has assigned astronauts to the first Crew Dragon operational mission, which could launch before the end of the year if all goes well.

The Flight Readiness Review has concluded and @NASA's SpaceX Crew Dragon mission is cleared to proceed toward liftoff.

Musk described the mission as the "culmination of a truly incredible amount of work by SpaceX and NASA engineering, along with support of all International Space Station countries.".

NASA awarded the original Commercial Crew Program contracts to SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 with an eye to launching astronauts in 2017!

It marks the final test for SpaceX and its Crew Dragon capsule and will allow Elon Musk's spaceflight company to achieve human-rated certification of its spacecraft. .

Demo-2 will also be the first time a two-person crew launched from the United States since the space shuttle Columbia departed for space, on the fourth mission of the program in 1982.

A veteran of two space missions, he was last in orbit in 2011 on NASA's final shuttle mission

"They will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew," said NASA

The astronauts will return on Crew Dragon and splash down in the Atlantic where they will be greeted by a SpaceX recovery vessel. 

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