Crew-2 Remains on Schedule, Launch Less Than 15 Minutes Away

Fuel loading is complete on the first stage, and liquid oxygen loading has begun on the second stage. Everything remains on target for the 5:49 a.m. EDT launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Propellant and Liquid Oxygen Loading Underway

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fueling has begun. RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading and first stage liquid oxygen loading is underway. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:49 a.m. EDT.

For this morning’s launch, the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron continues to predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch pad for liftoff based on Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch weather criteria.

Crew Access Arm Retracted; Launch Escape System Will be Armed

Close-up view of Crew Dragon and the Crew Access Arm.
A close-up view of the Crew Dragon and Crew Access Arm at Launch Complex 39A.

The crew access arm has retracted. A few minutes later Crew Dragon’s launch escape system will be armed. From liftoff until they reach orbit, roughly 12 minutes, the crew would be able to escape safely in the unlikely event of an anomaly.

Up next is propellant loading.

SpaceX Launch Director Verifies ‘Go’ for Propellant Load

In just a few minutes, the rocket’s first stage will be loaded with rocket grade kerosene called RP-1 and liquid oxygen. Then the second stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen.

Crew Dragon Spacecraft is ‘Go’ for Launch

Confirmation was received from Commander Shane Kimbrough that Crew Dragon, named Endeavour by the crew, is ‘go’ for launch! The next call will come at T-minus 45 minutes from the launch director. Weather looks good and we remain on target for a 5:49 a.m. EDT launch.

Hatch Closed on Crew Dragon

The hatch is closed on Crew Dragon.The hatch is now closed on the Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour by the Crew-2 astronauts. Liftoff for Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihido Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet is just under two hours away (5:49 a.m. EDT).

Crew-2 Astronauts Are Secured Inside the Crew Dragon Spacecraft

The Crew-2 astronauts are in view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021.
The Crew-2 astronauts are in view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021. Photo credit: NASA

The Crew-2 astronauts are in view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft before the hatch was closed and secured.

What Do Astronauts Listen to While Riding in a Tesla to Their Rocket?

Here is a sample of the Crew-2 playlists:

  • First car (Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur): “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters, “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, and “City of Blinding Lights” by U2.
  • Second car (Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide): “Drops of Jupiter” by Train, “Paradise City” by Guns and Roses, and “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Arrive at the Launch Site

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, have arrived at Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, where the Crew Dragon spacecraft, Endeavour, is ready for them to climb in for launch. Liftoff is slated for 5:49 a.m. EDT.

In the next few minutes, they will take the elevator up the pad’s fixed service structure and walk down the air-conditioned crew access arm to the White Room, their final stop before climbing aboard.