Stage 1 Successfully Lands on Drone Ship

The first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has landed successfully on the company’s drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You.”

The Falcon 9 second stage and Crew Dragon are right on track for spacecraft separation coming up shortly.

Second-Stage Engine Cutoff, First Stage Begins Descent Toward Drone Ship

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 30, 2020, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station for the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission. Image credit: NASA TV

SECO! The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s second-stage Merlin engine shut down as planned. Separation of the Crew Dragon spacecraft from the second stage is coming up just over three minutes from now.

The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage is descending toward SpaceX’s drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” waiting in the Atlantic Ocean.

Main Engine Cutoff; Second Stage Continues the Flight

MECO! Main engine cutoff. The nine Merlin engines powering the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage shut down as expected, followed by separation of the first stage from the second stage. The second stage’s single Merlin engine has taken over the task of delivering the Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, safely to orbit. This second-stage burn will last approximately six minutes.

LIFTOFF! NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Launches the Commercial Crew Era

Liftoff! The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft launched from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Pad 39A at 3:22 p.m. EDT, kicking off a critical final flight test of the SpaceX crew transportation system. The commercial crew era has officially begun with this launch of American astronauts on an American spacecraft from American soil.

Control of the flight has been transferred from the SpaceX launch control team at Kennedy to the mission control team at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

The nine Merlin engines on the Falcon rocket’s first stage are generating more than 1.7 million pounds of thrust as the vehicle climbs away from Florida’s Space Coast. At about one minute into the flight, the rocket will pass through Max Q, the point of peak mechanical stress on the rocket.

Three Minutes Until Liftoff

The strongback support structure has been retracted from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s side. The Crew Dragon spacecraft is transitioning to internal power. When clocks reach one minute until launch, the flight computer will be commanded to run through final prelaunch checks.

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2: Launch Minutes Away

Liquid oxygen burns off of the Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Saturday, May 30. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for today’s targeted 3:22 p.m. EDT launch of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 launch from the Florida spaceport. Image credit: NASA TV

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission is minutes away from liftoff at 3:22 p.m. EDT from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The crew’s displays inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft are configured for flight.

“Have an amazing flight and enjoy those views of our beautiful planet,” the SpaceX CORE said to astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

The crew answered, “It is absolutely our honor to be part of this huge effort to get the United States back” in the business of human spaceflight.

Here’s a look at the major milestones to come during the climb to space. (Times are shown in “L+time” – minutes and seconds after launch.)

00:00:00     Falcon 9 liftoff
+00:00:58    Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
+00:02:33    1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
+00:02:36    1st and 2nd stages separate
+00:02:44    2nd stage engine starts+00:07:15 1st stage entry burn
+00:08:47    2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
+00:08:52    1st stage entry burn
+00:09:22    1st stage landing
+00:12:00     Crew Dragon separates from 2nd stage
+00:12:46     Dragon nosecone open sequence begins

Less than 20 Minutes Until Launch

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station remains on schedule for 3:22 p.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Propellant loading operations continue as expected. Crew members Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken are strapped in and have closed their visors.

RP-1 Fuel, First-Stage Liquid Oxygen Loading in Progress

Liquid oxygen burns off of the Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Saturday, May 30. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for today’s targeted 3:22 p.m. EDT launch of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 launch from the Florida spaceport. Image credit: NASA TV

At Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A, valves are open and propellants are beginning to flow into the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Atop the rocket is the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, with two NASA astronauts – Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley – safely strapped inside.

Liftoff on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station remains planned for an instantaneous launch window at 3:22 p.m. EDT.