A Look at Key Milestones for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Launch

NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon Endeavour spacecraft
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission, Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Below are some key milestones for the Crew-6 mission launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff, from Launch Complex 39A, is targeted for 12:34 a.m. EST Thursday, March 2 (times are approximate; all times are EST):

  • 11:52 p.m.          Crew access arm retracts
  • 11:56 p.m.          Dragon launch escape system is armed
  • 11:59 p.m.          Falcon 9 rocket propellant loading begins
  • 12:27 a.m.          Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
  • 12:32 a.m.          Propellant load complete; Dragon switches to internal power
  • 12:33 a.m.          SpaceX launch director verifies go for launch
  • 12:34 a.m.          Liftoff!
  • 12:35 a.m.          Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
  • 12:36 a.m.          First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • 12:36 a.m.          First and second stages separate
  • 12:36 a.m.          Second stage engine starts
  • 12:41 a.m.          First stage entry burn
  • 12:42 a.m.          Second stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
  • 12:43 a.m.          First stage landing on SpaceX drone ship
  • 12:46 a.m.          Dragon separates from second stage
  • 12:47 a.m.          Dragon nosecone sequence