This Friday (22), NASA gave the green light for the first manned flight of SpaceX, whose launch will occur next Wednesday (27), at Kennedy Space Center, in Florida (United States). The rocket from Elon Musk’s company will take two astronauts to the International Space Station.
The historic space flight, which will be the first to leave US soil since 2011, will be staffed by astronauts from the American space agency Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. They will travel aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, powered by the Falcon 9 rocket, and are due to arrive at the Station the next day.
The release for the SpaceX launch came after many meetings between NASA and the Musk team in recent days. During the meetings, several technical issues that could result in flight problems were discussed, such as the Crew Dragon parachute, the subject of numerous tests in recent years, and the explosion of the capsule in a test last year.
After all the reviews, the agency concluded that the risks were manageable, giving clearance for takeoff to occur, even though there were still some minor adjustments to make, in a short time.
The last preparations for the launch of SpaceX started this Friday, with the tests of Falcon 9 engines. On Saturday, (23) the astronauts will make the test of the takeoff. They will wear the space suits and go through all the stages prior to the flight.
On Monday (25), another review is scheduled, carried out by NASA and SpaceX officials, in which the possibility of continuing with the mission will be checked. In this step, data analysis from the last ignition test and the general test takes place.
On Wednesday (27), the countdown of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station begins at 12:15 pm (local time). The launch is scheduled for 16h33.