Falcon 9, Crew Dragon In Position At Launch Pad

Demo-2 static fire

Trump says may attend SpaceX manned rocket launch

It will be the first time a private company, rather than a national government, sends astronauts into orbit.

NASA has given SpaceX approval to proceed with final preparations for the first commercial crew mission with astronauts on board, although there is still work to complete ahead of the planned May 27 launch.

And on Monday (May 25) comes the final launch readiness review, which will incorporate analyses of the data from the static fire and the dry dress along with other information, NASA officials said.

Elon Musk's company is gearing up for the Wednesday (May 27) launch of the Demo-2 mission, which will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

Jurczyk said Russian and Japanese representatives participated in the meetings via remote links.

"We're really comfortable with it, and we think that those trades have been made appropriately", Behnken said.

"Agency and SpaceX managers gathered at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to focus on the readiness of the Crew Dragon and systems for the Demo-2 mission; the readiness of the International Space Station Program and its international partners to support the flight; and the certification of flight readiness", a NASA blog noted.

US-Russia cooperation is not expected to end once Crew Dragon goes into service.

U.S. astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are scheduled to blast off from Kennedy's historic Launch Pad 39A at 4:33 pm (20:33 UTC) on Wednesday for the International Space Station, arriving the next day. "We're living the dream", he said. President Donald Trump has indicated he wants to witness the launch.

A photo released by NASA on Thursday showed the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon being raised into a vertical position on Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, which was also used for the Apollo and space shuttle programs.

NASA has awarded contracts worth 3.1 billion dollars to SpaceX and 4.9 billion dollars to Boeing in a bid to give the USA independent access to space once again.

There have been plenty of setbacks along the way. The mission duration will be determined by the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. And in December, an uncrewed test flight of Boeing's Starliner space taxi went awry, guaranteeing that SpaceX would be the first to fly a crew. But NASA and SpaceX have said they have been taking additional precautions because of the coronavirus pandemic. "I hope you're all going to join me".

Lueders stressed that it's not yet time to relax. "We're going to stay hungry until Bob and Doug come home".

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