In May of last year, SpaceX became the first commercial space company to fly astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). That groundbreaking moment was also the first time an American spacecraft launched astronauts from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Now, easing into its routine as the workhorse of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), SpaceX is set to send up its third crewed mission to the ISS next week. Want to tune in? Here's everything you need to know.
What is the Crew-2 mission?
The Crew-2 mission will take four astronauts to the ISS: Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA, Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA). They'll be hitching a ride on SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle — more specifically, they'll be flying in the Endeavour capsule, which traveled to the ISS last year as part of the Demo-2 mission.
The Crew-2 team will join their Expedition 65 companions — NASA's Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos' Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov — on board the ISS, where they'll be performing scientific research for the next six months.
When is the Crew-2 launch?
Crew-2 is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Florida at 6:11 a.m. EDT (10:11 UTC) on April 22. Keep in mind that this date could change, particularly if the weather doesn't cooperate.
How can I watch the launch?
If you happen to be in Florida, you can see the launch in person. While tickets for the VIP launch viewing sites at Kennedy Space Center are already sold out, you can watch from off-site viewpoints such as Playalinda Beach at Canaveral National Seashore, the Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville, and Jetty Park at Port Canaveral.
Otherwise, you can catch all the action online, as NASA will be streaming the event via NASA TV, which you can watch through the agency's website, YouTube page, and social media accounts. You can also catch some prelaunch interviews and discussions between now and April 22 on NASA TV; check out the full lineup of events here.
Source: Read Full Article