NASA and SpaceX Gearing Up For Historic Crew Dragon Launch This Week

Elon Musk is wearing a black tee-shirt and speaking into a microwave at a public event

Elon Musk is wearing a black tee-shirt and speaking into a microwave at a public event

An American flag flutters above the crew access arm (top C) which is seen leading to the Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, at launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 25, 2020. That milestone paved the way to this Wednesday's launch, which could upset Boeing's presumed spaceflight supremacy. Today, NASA will be conducting its final Launch Readiness Review. Several technical milestones have been achieved in preparation for the greatly anticipated flight, including a dry dress rehearsal which occurred over the weekend.

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis took off from Kennedy Space Centre on July 8, 2011, few of us would've imagined that the next crewed launch from USA soil wouldn't happen for another nine years (unless you count the launch of Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity space plane in 2018). However, by January, SpaceX completed an in-flight test of the Crew Dragon's launch escape capabilities that demonstrated the spacecraft's ability to carry its crew to safety in the event of an emergency during ascent. After re-entering Earth's atmosphere, the spacecraft will splashdown off the coast of Florida, where it will be retrieved by SpaceX's Go Navigator recovery vessel and returned to Cape Canaveral. This will mark the first time astronauts liftoff from Florida in nine years, and the first time they'll do so for a commercial company. This included the STS-127 flight in July of 2009 and the final Space Shuttle mission (STS-135), which took place in July of 2011. Sitting at the table is NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk. However, these discussions are critical and necessary to all but guarantee a safe flight.

This is the culmination of many years' work, and will be the first human flight for the Commercial Crew program. The duo will then continue to test the Crew Dragon, in addition to scheduled tasks and research responsibilities aboard the ISS. Crew Dragon, sitting atop the 23-story-tall Falcon-9 rocket, will join the ranks of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle, that is if all goes according to plan. Backup dates are May 30, 31. "It did not seem likely at the time when we arrived in the astronaut office", said NASA astronaut Bob Behnken on Friday in his last news conference before the Demo-2 launch.

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Watch history unfold on Wednesday, May 27, as NASA and SpaceX launch astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. According to the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is a 40 to 60 percent chance of "unfavorable" weather: primarily precipitation and thick clouds. As he outlined the various weather systems and fronts which are collectively contributing to the now 40% chance that there would be a violation against the launch weather criteria, his choice of words to summarize the situation seemed fitting, given that he was talking about a mission featuring two astronauts, named Bob (Behnken) and Doug (Hurley). The full name of the popular film, starring Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis as a pair of fictitious Canadian brothers, is "The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew". After a day and a half of intensive review and conversation, Steve Jurczyk stated that "We did a thorough review of all of the systems and all the risks, and it was unanimous on the board that we are go for launch".

"We've longed to be part of a test mission, a test space flight", he said. Since then, Desforges has been an enthusiast of space exploration efforts. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 2017, holds a degree in Aviation Management, and now works as an Operations Analyst in the aviation industry in Georgia.

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