The test flight “Demo-2” is expected at 16.33 American time of today and the astronauts of the NASA who will leave for this adventure will be Robert Behnken is Douglas Hurley.
Meanwhile, the public will be able to attend the launch virtually, receiving updates of the mission minute by minute, also thanks to a dedicated hashtag.
SPECIAL EVENT: We invite you to experience #LaunchAmerica virtually! From your home, you can:
🚀 Take virtual tours
🐉 Practice docking @SpaceX Crew Dragon
📺 Watch NASA TV coverage
👨🚀 See astronauts launch to space on May 27
RSVP to be part of history: https://t.co/Dqzp3bzMD7 pic.twitter.com/FEBl8bZ5nv
– NASA (@NASA) May 24, 2020
A historic event
The astronauts will leave the Land on board the capsule Crew Dragon and a reusable rocket Falcon 9, headed for International Space Station. The flight takes place inside the Commercial Crew Development Program, a plan that aims to encourage the development of vehicles to bring astronauts to the NASA in space, in which both participate Boeing that SpaceX.
It is a historic event for several reasons:
- it is the first time that the task of bringing astronauts aboard the Space station International comes entrusted to a private individual;
- the astronauts of the NASA will participate in the testing of private space systems directly in orbit.
The launch represents the recapture of space by the United States: for the first time since 2011, a manned spacecraft will take flight directly from US soil. From the times of the Shuttlein fact, to take off and re – enter the NASA he had had to turn to the ships Soyuz of the Russian space agency.
What will happen after the launch
In total, the flight that will bring the two astronauts on board the ISS will last about 24 hours: the spacecraft will not immediately reach the space station, but will perform some maneuvers around the Land to position yourself correctly in low orbit.
Once docked, Behnken and Hurley will in all respects be part of the crew and complete the tests on the spacecraft Dragonas well as helping colleagues with a series of gravity-free experiments.
The duration of the mission is still unknown and therefore the date of return of the spacecraft: the Crew capsule Dragon it will automatically release from the Space station to return to the atmosphere, returning the two astronauts to the Land with one splashdown (i.e. a ditching) in the Atlantic Ocean.
If the mission is successful, SpaceX will have green light for six more operational missions towards the International Space Station; a first step to Musk towards its real goal: Mars.