Astronauts Bob Behknen and Doug Hurley (as well as NASA and SpaceX mission teams) performed the “dry run” test for their next test flight on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The mission, NASA’s first crewed launch from American soil since 2011, will be launched from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday May 27 at 4.33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT).“Some exciting days here at NASA Kennedy! »Behnken wrote on Twitter on Friday before the rehearsal for today’s launch. “The crew’s arrival in Florida was great, seeing our vehicle driving at 39A was epic, and watching our SpaceX Falcon 9 on the first floor shoot once more before our mission was always smiling!” “
Full coverage: SpaceX demo-2’s historic launch explained
Behnken and Hurley arrived at KSC on Tuesday May 19 and SpaceX successfully tested their Falcon 9 Crew Dragon thruster yesterday. NASA photos taken dry today show astronauts wearing SpaceX jumpsuits and leading to the launch pad in a white Tesla Model X SUV with the NASA logo. Their license plate read “ISSBND” (or ISS Bound).
The astronauts climbed inside their Crew Dragon to the top of Pad 39A to repeat as many days as possible without taking off.
“So it will be some kind of dress rehearsal for launch day,” Hurley told reporters Friday during a teleconference.
Related: SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 mission explained in 13 steps
Evidence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was visible in NASA blank test photos. Photographers and support staff wore masks and practiced social distance to avoid any risk of contamination by astronauts or others.
Later in the day, Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to meet with some of their family members, who are traveling from Houston to Florida to see the upcoming launch. These family members were scheduled to arrive at KSC this afternoon.
SpaceX’s next Demo-2 mission is the final test flight of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, a capsule designed to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is one of two companies that have entered into multi-billion dollar contracts with NASA to provide these crew flights. The other company is Boeing.
For Demo-2, Behnken and Hurley will launch towards the station on Wednesday and will arrive at the orbiting laboratory 19 hours later. The astronauts will spend up to four months at the station to test the Dragon’s systems, then return to Earth with a splash in the Atlantic Ocean.
If all goes well, SpaceX will launch four more astronauts on a Crew-1 mission later this year.
Visit Space.com daily for full coverage of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight.