NASA, SpaceX to launch first astronauts to Space Station from U.S. since 2011 on Wednesday

Published: 05/26/2020, 6:50 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) NASA will provide live coverage of prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight on Wednesday, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 4:33 p.m. EDT May 27 for the launch of the first commercially-built and operated American rocket and spacecraft carrying astronauts to the space station. NASA and SpaceX will provide joint, live coverage from launch to arrival at the space station. Full mission coverage will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website, as well as numerous other platforms. The launch broadcast commentators are Marie Lewis, Dan Huot, Gary Jordan, Derrol Nail, and Tahira Allen from NASA, and Lauren Lyons, John Insprucker, and Jessie Anderson from SpaceX, with special guest host and former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin. Postlaunch coverage commentators are Leah Cheshier, Courtney Beasley, Gary Jordan and Dan Huot from NASA, and Kate Tice, Siva Bharadvaj, and Michael Andrews from SpaceX. Prelaunch coverage also includes a special performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Grammy Award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11:39 a.m. Thursday, May 28. This will be SpaceX’s final test flight for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and will provide critical 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 certification of SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX currently is readying the hardware for the first space station crew rotational mission, which would happen after data from this test flight is reviewed for certification. Live NASA coverage is as follows. All times are EDT: Wednesday, May 27 12:15 p.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins (continues through docking) 4:33 p.m. – Liftoff 5:22 p.m. – Crew Dragon phase burn 6:05 p.m. – Far-field manual flight test 7:05 p.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon 7:30 p.m. – Administrator postlaunch news conference at Kennedy featuring Administrator Bridenstine, a SpaceX representative, Kathy Lueders, Kirk Shireman and NASA Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester Thursday, May 28 7:20 a.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon 11:39 a.m. – Docking 1:55 p.m. – Hatch Open 2:25 p.m. – Welcome ceremony 4:15 p.m. – Post-Arrival News Conference at Johnson featuring Administrator Bridenstine, NASA’s Johnson Space Center director Mark Geyer, and NASA Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester Friday, May 29 11:05 a.m. – Space Station crew news conference, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley 12:50 p.m. – SpaceX employee event and Class of 2020 Mosaic presentation, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed, but more information about media accreditation is available by emailing This test flight is a pivotal point in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil to the space station for the first time since 2011. The goal of the Commercial Crew Program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station. This could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration, including preparation for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:


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