The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for its first crew launch from American soil has arrived at the launch site. NASA and SpaceX are preparing for the company’s first flight test with astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley from historic Launch Complex 39A from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft now will undergo final testing and prelaunch processing in a SpaceX facility on nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Watch a video of the SpaceX Crew Dragon for Demo-2 as it underwent electromagnetic interference testing in the EMI chamber at the SpaceX factory in Hawthorne prior to its arrival at the launch site in Florida.
After a successful launch at 6:36 a.m. EST Friday on the ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is an unplanned, but stable orbit. The team is assessing what test objectives can be achieved before a safe return of the spacecraft to land in White Sands, New Mexico. NASA and Boeing officials held a post-launch news conference Friday morning.
Despite launching successfully at 6:36 a.m. EST Friday on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is not in its planned orbit. The spacecraft currently is in a stable configuration while flight controllers are troubleshooting.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner has separated from the Atlas V Centaur and is flying on its own, embarking on its inaugural flight to the International Space Station. The Atlas Centaur will fall back to Earth and impact the ocean near Australia. After a series of orbital adjustments, Starliner will be on course for rendezvous and docking with the space station at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.
Booster ignition and liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 6:36 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket is on its way, carrying Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station. About one minute after launch, the Atlas V rocket will achieve Mach 1. The Atlas V solid rocket boosters will jettison nearly two-and-a-half minutes into the flight.
About two-and-a-half minutes into flight, a series of key events will begin to occur over the next few minutes. The Atlas V solid rocket boosters will fall away shortly after launch. The Atlas first-stage booster engine will cut off, followed by separation from the dual-engine Centaur second stage. The Centaur first main engine will start, following by aeroskirt jettison. A few minutes later the Centaur engine will cut off.
Launch conductors have completed their polls of the launch teams. The T-4 minute built-in hold has been released and the countdown has resumed. The Starliner spacecraft has been configured for terminal count. Three seconds before launch, the Atlas V booster’s RD-180 engine will ignite.