Demo-1 Flight Readiness Concludes, Press Conference Tonight

Crew Dragon for DM-1 mission with Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Following a full day of briefings and discussion, NASA and SpaceX are proceeding with plans to conduct the first uncrewed test flight of the Crew Dragon on a mission to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for 2:48 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft designed for humans will launch to the space station.

At 6 p.m., NASA will broadcast a post-flight readiness review briefing from Kennedy, with the following representatives:

  • William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, NASA Human Exploration and Operations
  • Kathy Lueders, manager, NASA Commercial Crew Program
  • Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
  • Kirk Shireman, manager, International Space Station Program
  • Norm Knight, deputy director, NASA  Johnson Space Center Flight Operations

While the review was ongoing, crew members on station utilized a computer-based trainer and reviewed procedures to refresh themselves with the Crew Dragon spacecraft systems, rendezvous and docking, ingress operations, changes to emergency responses, and vehicle departure. Demo-1 is the first uncrewed flight to the space station for the Crew Dragon.

NASA will provide full mission coverage for activities from now through launch, docking, departure and splashdown.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with two American companies to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective crew transportation to and from the International Space Station, which could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration.

  • Saturn1300

    If NASA could launch ISS down orbit I would lose less sleep as it would be 12 hours sooner or later in the daylight. No loss sleep for EU or Russia. Just the New World and Japan. I suppose they can’t fly over the Bahamas or they have another good reason. Like ISS is too far out of plane. I thought F9 had excess performance because of the light load.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It probably a legacy of how they did it with the Space Shuttle and cargo Dragon so it’s easier to do. All the procedures, tracking, etc., are in place and well practiced for it.