SpaceX is set to launch its latest mission for NASA with the rocket Falcon 9 which will carry four astronauts to the International Space Station. The launch is scheduled to take place on April 23rd at 5:49 am Eastern time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The launch event is being live-streamed by both NASA and SpaceX. The launch was originally scheduled to take place on Thursday, but a few concerns regarding the weather made the scientists at NASA and SpaceX reconsider. The mission managers had to look at the conditions above the Atlantic Ocean where the crew capsule would have splashed down if something went awry with the launch mission. For April 23rd the weather report was mostly favorable, and the conditions above the Atlantic Ocean are supposed to be better than that of the previous morning.
With the launch of the Crew 2 aboard Falcon 9, it will be SpaceX’s third crewed mission in the last 12 months. “It’s super cool to have the opportunity to do this so quickly. In fact … we’ll in less than a year have flown as many people in this partnership with NASA as were flown in the Mercury program,” SpaceX senior director Benji Reed said during a press briefing earlier this week. He further added, “A lot of firsts and a lot of good stuff happening. In less than 11 months, the joint NASA and SpaceX team were able to certify reuse, so we are flying … NASA astronauts on a flight-proven Dragon and a flight-proven Falcon.”
It will take for the Falcon 9 23-hours to reach the International Space Station during which the crew aboard the rocket will be in constant communication with the mission control. Once the capsule docks with the station, the astronauts will have to do a round of checking which should take around a couple of hours to make sure that there are no air leaks before the hatches open.