NASA and SpaceX are preparing for today’s planned launch of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley is targeted for 3:22 p.m. EDT from Kennedy’s historic Launch Complex 39A.
Follow the countdown live starting at 11 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, on the web at http://www.nasa.gov/live and here on the blog.
Behnken and Hurley are spending the morning in the Astronaut Crew Quarters inside Kennedy’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, where they’ll sit down for a preflight meal five hours prior to launch. The crewmates will receive a weather briefing at approximately 11:07 a.m., then begin suiting up in the crew quarters’ Suit Room around 11:22 a.m.
Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 50% chance of favorable weather conditions at launch time. The primary concerns remain flight through precipitation, anvil clouds and cumulus clouds.
Here’s an overview of the countdown milestones ahead:
-04:15:00 Crew weather brief
-04:05:00 Crew handoff
-04:00:00 Suit donning and checkouts
-03:22:00 Crew walk out from Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building
-03:15:00 Crew transportation to Launch Complex 39A
-02:55:00 Crew arrives at pad
-02:35:00 Crew ingress
-02:20:00 Communication check
-02:15:00 Verify ready for seat rotation
-02:14:00 Suit leak checks
-01:55:00 Hatch close
-00:45:00 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load
-00:42:00 Crew access arm retracts
-00:37:00 Dragon launch escape system is armed
-00:35:00 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins
-00:35:00 1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
-00:16:00 2nd stage LOX loading begins
-00:07:00 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
-00:05:00 Dragon transitions to internal power
-00:01:00 Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
-00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
-00:00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
-00:00:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
-00:00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff
The Demo-2 mission will serve as an end-to-end flight test to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, from launch to docking to splashdown. It is the final flight test for the system to be certified for regular crew flights to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.