Astronauts Will Test Crew Dragon in Orbit

On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the company’s Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, executed a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front) participating in SpaceX’s flight simulator. (Credits: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — This is SpaceX’s final flight test, which will validate all aspects of its crew transportation system, including its spacecraft (Crew Dragon), launch vehicle (Falcon 9), launch pad (LC-39A), and operations capabilities.

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Crew Dragon Mission Timeline

On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the company’s Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, executed a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front) participating in SpaceX’s flight simulator. (Credits: SpaceX)
Mission Timeline

COUNTDOWN
(all times are approximate and adjustments may occur prior to launch)

  Hour/Min/SecEvents
  -04:15:00Crew weather brief
  -04:05:00Crew handoff
  -04:00:00Suite donning and checkouts
  -03:22:00Crew Walk Out from Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building
  -03:15:00Crew Transportation to Launch Complex 39A
  -02:55:00Crew arrives at pad
  -02:35:00Crew ingress
  -02:20:00Communication check
  -02:15:00Verify ready for seat rotation
  -02:14:00Suit leak checks
  -01:55:00Hatch close
  -00:45:00SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load
  -00:42:00Crew access arm retracts
  -00:37:00Dragon launch escape system is armed
  -00:35:00RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins
  -00:35:001st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
  -00:16:002nd stage LOX loading begins
  -00:07:00Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
  -00:05:00Dragon transitions to internal power
  -00:01:00Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
  -00:01:00Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
  -00:00:45SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
  -00:00:03Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
  -00:00:00Falcon 9 liftoff
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Crew Dragon Go for Launch on Wednesday, Weather Forecast Improves

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley, right, are seen on a monitor showing the crew access arm at Launch Complex 39A during a dress rehearsal in preparation for the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in firing room four of the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

NASA, SpaceX and U.S. Space Force officials said that a launch readiness review went well on Monday, clearing one of the last hurdles toward liftoff of the Falcon 9 booster and Crew Dragon capsule with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard at 4:33 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 27.

Officials said the launch day forecast for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida has improved from 60 percent chance of weather violating launch constraints to 40 percent.

Backup dates if the launch is scrubbed are May 30 and 31.

Officials said a brief hot fire of the Falcon 9 boosters first stage Merlin 1-D engines went as planned.

The Crew Dragon mission will be the first orbital launch from American soil since the space shuttle was retired in July 2011.

NASA will provide live coverage on its website of the flight to the International Space Station beginning no earlier than 12:15 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Teams Preparing for May 27 Launch

Inside the Press Site auditorium at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, agency and industry leaders conduct a virtual news conference with members of the media on May 22, 2020, following the conclusion of the flight readiness review for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission. (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission is cleared to proceed toward liftoff on the first crewed flight of the agency’s  Commercial Crew Program, NASA and SpaceX officials said following a successful Flight Readiness Review concluded Friday at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Falcon 9 Completes Static Fire Test Ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A during a brief static fire test ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, Friday, May 22, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft that will launch American astronauts to the  International Space Station from American soil for the first time in nearly a decade has completed a key prelaunch milestone: the integrated static fire. Standing on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the rocket’s nine Merlin first-stage engines were fired for seven seconds for this critical but routine test.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly to the space station aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-2 flight test. The mission will serve as an end-to-end test of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, paving the way for NASA to certify the system for regular, crewed flights to the orbiting laboratory as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Liftoff is slated for May 27 at 4:33 p.m. EDT.

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Briefings, Events and Broadcasts

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken practice extraction from a Crew Dragon capsule. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 flight test with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. The mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011.

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