The upcoming space mission, dubbed Demo-2, was initially scheduled to launch back in 2019. But NASA and SpaceX needed more time. A lot of tests and safety checks were required for this year’s flawless space flight.
SpaceX is now closer than ever to send two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station inside a Crew Dragon capsule. If you’re curious to find out more about the daring mission, here is what you need to know.
What is Demo-2?
Demo-2 is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which includes two commercial spaceflight agencies, SpaceX and Boeing, developing and sending crew capsules designed to carry astronauts to and from the ISS. SpaceX is known for its payload and cargo launches, but Demo-2 will be the first time the company will send astronauts to space.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon is the first human transportation model of the Dragon 2 capsule that has been utilized to ferry cargo to the ISS. Falcon 9 is a reusable rocket that will accompany the Crew Dragon through the liftoff. Until now, SpaceX has successfully sent dozens of such rockets.
NASA enrolled astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to Crew Dragon in 2018. Both astronauts have been to space on various space missions. Hurley, for example, was part of the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011.
The liftoff is booked for May 27, at 1:33 PM PT/4:33 PM ET. The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule will be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The historic launch pad has witnessed the Apollo and space shuttle missions.
NASA will certify Crew Dragon for regular space flights to and from the ISS, only if SpaceX passes muster during the mission. Demo-2 will also mark the first time a two-person crew lifted off from the US since the spacecraft Columbia departed for space back in 1982.