Today is the day.
After many years of preparation from SpaceX and months of preparation from NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, the Demo-2 mission is scheduled for launch at 16:33 EDT (22:33 CAT) today.
The mission is SpaceX’s final test before it can be certified for regular missions as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
It’s also the first time an American spacecraft will launch from American soil since 2011. It’s also fitting that the mission will launch from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Why is that? Well Launch Complex 39A is the pad that was used to launch the Apollo 8 mission (the first time the US put humans into orbit around the Moon) and the Apollo 11 mission which humans set foot on the Moon for the first time.
No pressure SpaceX.
Today then will be one for the history books (should the launch go ahead of course) and thanks to the power of the internet you can stream the entire event online.
Our recommendation is to stream the launch via the official NASA YouTube channel. We say this because if you tune in right now you can watch an entire build-up to the launch.
You can also head to the SpaceX YouTube page if you prefer streaming from there.
While launch is set for 22:33 CAT, we recommend tuning in from 18:15 CAT for pre-briefings, and suit checks. It’s honestly a space nerd’s dream and we’re glued to our screens.
A timeline of the countdown milestones can be found here. Note that the time stamps are hours to launch.
Should the launch be aborted the next launch window is Saturday 30th May at 21:22 CAT.
Should that launch be aborted Sunday 31st May at 21:00 CAT is the next launch window.[Image – SpaceX]