The rocket has reached first stage main engine cutoff (MECO), and the first and second stages have separated. Next, the second stage engine will start.
Max Q, or the moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket, has been reached.
In the next minute, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage will separate from the second stage to attempt a landing at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. If successful, this will be the first commercial crew launch to return a booster to land – rather than returning to a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean – for recovery operations.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft Endurance light up the early morning Florida sky! NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, commander; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, pilot; and mission specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov have started their approximately 22-hour journey to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission. Liftoff occurred at 3:27 a.m. EDT.
Five minutes to liftoff, and all looks good for the Crew-7 launch!
Fuel loading is complete on the second stage, and liquid oxygen loading has begun. Everything remains on target for the 3:27 a.m. EDT launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fueling has begun. Rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) loading and first stage liquid oxygen loading is underway. Liftoff is scheduled for 3:27 a.m. EDT.
The crew access arm has retracted. A few minutes later, 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.
The confirmation that Dragon is “go” for launch just came through. 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.
The SpaceX closeout team has left the crew access arm. Launch, set for 3:27 a.m. EDT, is now a little more than an hour away.
Stay with us as the countdown continues. We’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this historic mission. On NASA Television and the agency’s website, there is continuous live coverage of important Crew-7 activities.
Follow along with launch activities and get more information about the mission at: Crew-7 Mission Overview. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following the Crew-7 blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook.
With communication checks complete, the hatch is now closed on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, which previously supported Crew-3 and Crew-5. Liftoff for Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov is just over two hours away (3:27 a.m. EDT).