SpaceX is currently preparing for a historic mission that will see the Crew Dragon capsule send American astronauts into space for the first time. The Crew Dragon capsule that will carry the astronauts into space has reached the Florida launch site ahead of the historic launch currently scheduled for next week. The spacecraft arrived at Launch Complex 39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 15.
The Crew Dragon capsule didn’t have far to go as it was previously located at the SpaceX processing facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The planned mission launch is set for May 27 and is called Demo-2.
NASA Astronauts aboard the spacecraft will include Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. The two astronauts will be ferried to the ISS aboard the spacecraft and returned home. The Crew Dragon spacecraft will lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket and will be the first orbital human spaceflight launched from the United States since the space shuttle fleet retired in July 2011.
The United States has been relying on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to get astronauts to and from the ISS. The Crew Dragon has made a trip to the ISS already, but that mission had no astronauts aboard. The Demo-2 mission is intended to fully validate the Crew Dragon-Falcon 9 for crewed flights to and from the ISS.
SpaceX has a $2.6 billion contract the fly six missions with the first mission expected launch later this year if Demo-2 goes off without a hitch. The two astronauts will arrive at the Kennedy Space Center today with a Flight Readiness Review taking place tomorrow to determine if the mission is ready for the May 27 launch.