NASA is in the process of preparing for the historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch to the International Space Station.
The launch had originally been slated for May 27, but was postponed due to poor weather conditions. It has been rescheduled to take place Saturday afternoon at 3:22 p.m., however, there is still around a 50 per cent chance that it could once again be delayed.
The Demo-2 mission is four years in the making and marks the first time NASA astronauts will head to space on a commercial spacecraft. It’s also the first time U.S. astronauts will leave the planet on a U.S.-built vehicle since 2011.
Much to the amusement of Canadians — and fans of SCTV — the two astronauts heading to the International Space Station are Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley, or “Bob and Doug,” which has gotten more than a few chuckles.
After the launch, the astronauts will spend 19 hours travelling to the International Space Station. They’ll be testing the capsule’s in-flight performance along the way. They will spend between one and four months on the station.
NASA has also said the launch will be SpaceX's final test flight of NASA's Commercial Crew Program and “will provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations.”
“The test flight also will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX's crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station,” NASA said in a news release. “SpaceX currently is readying the hardware for the first rotational mission, which would happen after data from this mission is reviewed for NASA's certification.”
NASA's coverage of the mission has already begun and will continue through to the post-arrival news conference on Sunday. Find the full schedule here.
Watch NASA Live in the video below.