What to Know Before the Historic Launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley walk out of the Operations and Checkout Building on their way to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

What to Know Before the Historic Launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon

See the updated timings for May 30 here.

Two NASA astronauts will launch on a historic mission today.

NASA's commercial crew program set a number of safety requirements for the spacecraft whose development it supported.

About 15 minutes after launch, you may be able to witness the spacecraft flying over the United Kingdom as the astronauts head for the International Space Station. Today's launch will also mark the first time in history that a commercial aerospace company will carry humans into Earth's orbit, a milestone NASA and space fans have been looking forward to for almost a decade.

Bridenstine told CBS that SpaceX's corporate innovation is key to the future of NASA, and he hopes the launch will get Americans excited, as it marks "the beginning of a commercial marketplace in space".

The people on the Demo 2 shall become the first Americans to enter space from a spacecraft taking off american soil after NASA ended the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

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Mr Bridenstine believes the approach will save his agency money that can then be spent on missions to the Moon and Mars. NASA is out of rides to the space station from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, and Boeing, the second commercial partner, is facing delays getting its capsule certified for launch.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley will launch to the International Space Station on the Demo-2 mission. It is planned that it will fly past the moon in the night sky about 20-30 minutes after launch and will look like a moving point of light. It's bright and quite fast moving.

Technicians in black suits and face masks then escorted the two astronauts back down the 265-foot-tall (80-meter) launch tower for the return trip to their quarantine holding facility.

This launch will end the U.S. space agency's domestic launch hiatus, and it marks an important milestone for billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX, too.

The instantaneous launch window is 4:33 p.m. from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Weather could ground the mission, however, with about a 40% chance of inclement conditions.

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"SpaceX would not be here without NASA", said Musk a year ago, after a successful dress rehearsal without humans for the trip to the ISS.

Inclement weather threatened Wednesday to postpone SpaceX's launch into orbit of two NASA astronauts, a historic first for a privately-owned company and the first crewed mission to blast off from USA soil in nearly a decade.

Crew Dragon will perform phasing manoeuvres to position itself for rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station. These monitors help the astronauts control the mechanics of the spacecraft and navigate their way to the ISS.

Since 2012, SpaceX has successfully used their space capsule, Cargo Dragon, and Falcon 9 rockets to resupply the ISS.

They will jettison the trunk and conduct a "deorbit burn" for about 12 minutes, before the Dragon re-enters Earth's atmosphere, splashing down off Florida's Atlantic Coast. For SpaceX and NASA, Crew Dragon will have fairly strict requirements for sea states and weather during astronaut splashdowns. (The Dragon spacecraft is created to eventually carry private passengers into orbit, the ISS or beyond).

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