Crew Dragon is Go for Early Saturday Morning Launch

An instrumented mannequin sit in the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-1 mission. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 for Demo-1, the first flight test of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, is targeted for Saturday, March 2, at 2:49 a.m. EST from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On this uncrewed mission, the first under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, the Crew Dragon will fly to the International Space Station in an end-to-end demonstration of the company’s ability to launch astronauts to the orbiting laboratory and return them home. To learn more, read the prelaunch feature story.

Join us at 2 a.m. for countdown coverage here on the blog and on NASA TV.

Mission Timeline (all times approximate)
COUNTDOWN
Min/Sec—Events
-45:00SpaceX Launch Director verifies “go” for propellant load
-37:00Dragon launch escape system is armed
-35:00RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins
-35:00First stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
-16:00Second stage LOX loading begins
-07:00Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
-05:00Dragon transitions to internal power
-01:00Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
-01:00Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
-00:45SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
-00:03Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
-00:00—Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft

LAUNCH, LANDING AND DRAGON DEPLOYMENT
Min/Sec—Events
00:58Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
02:35First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
02:38First and second stages separate
02:42Second stage engine starts
07:48First stage entry burn
08:59Second stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
09:24First stage landing burn
09:52First stage landing
11:00Dragon separates from second stage