SpaceX test-fires rocket for epic astronaut launch for NASA on May 27

Demo-2 static fire

Demo-2 static fire

On Saturday (May 23), for example, mission teams will run through a "dry dress" exercise, which will simulate numerous activities that NASA and SpaceX will perform in the leadup to launch on Wednesday.

SpaceX will also provide flights to non-American astronauts and Musk's company wants to eventually send tourists into space.

Images from NASA and footage from SpaceX show the Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft in position on the launch pad as preparations continue for Demo-2 a week before the historic launch. Boeing, as we've all seen, has had a rough couple of years, and it wasn't long before SpaceX was the clear frontrunner to deliver on its promise to NASA.

NASA announced Friday that an exhaustive "flight readiness review" of Wednesday's scheduled launch of a SpaceX rocket with two NASA astronauts aboard had determined that the mission could proceed. SpaceX is expected to report whether the test firing was successful later today. "Roscosmos participated and they were 'go, '" he said.

The mission will involve Behnken and Hurley launching to space, then making a rendezvous with the ISS in Crew Dragon, which will autonomous dock with the station if all goes to plan. On Saturday, astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will suit up and go through the pre-launch procedures one last time. That'll be next week, to the rocket launch.

Incidentally, Hurley was the one who piloted the final Space Shuttle mission in July 2011, and will also command the U.S.' return to human spaceflight.

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NASA has awarded contracts worth 3.1 billion dollars to SpaceX and 4.9 billion dollars to Boeing in a bid to give the United States independent access to space once again. The space agency is paying $90 million to Russia's space agency for a seat on a launch later in 2020. A different Crew Dragon blew up during a launch-pad test a year ago, forcing a redesign of the craft's propulsion system.

Last month, Boeing said it would conduct a second test flight, without crew, of its CST-100 Starliner vehicle after the first attempt in December was cut short by software problems.

Kirk Shireman, NASA ISS program manager, said SpaceX made an unspecified change to the spacecraft after the Demo-1 mission to fix a "very, very remote" possibility of a spacecraft failure that could damage the station. "I hope you're all going to join me". "We had very high confidence that they will function as we need them to".

"We have been in quarantine probably longer than any other space crew has ever been in the history of the space program", Hurley said.

"We're going to stay hungry until Bob and Doug come home", she said.

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