NASA needs to get astronauts to the ISS (International Space Station), and SpaceX’s first manned mission has been cleared for launch. This will be the first time astronauts launch from US soil since the space shuttle was retired. It’s go for launch, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The last time the US sent people to LEO (Low Earth Orbit) was back in 2011. Since then, they have been riding shotgun on Russian ‘Soyuz’ capsules.
SpaceX and NASA have both officially confirmed that they’ve had “a very successful launch readiness review” at a virtual press conference. NASA’s Associate Administrator, Steve Jurczyk, said they did a “thorough review of all the systems and all the risks” and came to the conclusion that everything is ‘go for launch’ on May 27th.
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The Crew Dragon spacecraft is already sitting on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, ready to go, at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. SpaceX had just recently test-fired the Falcon 9’s engines as part of the final tests required to perform the launch. The work is not done. The ‘Demo-2’ mission team still has to complete a final readiness review, which will take into consideration data from the static fire test today (May 25th). On May 27th at 4:33 PM EDT, the Crew Dragon will be ferrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to orbit, provided nothing goes wrong.