Separation Confirmed! Dragon Now Flying Solo

The Dragon spacecraft has separated from the Falcon 9’s second stage and is flying on its own. The spacecraft is traveling at approximately 17,500 miles per hour (28,200 kilometers per hour). In less than a minute, the Dragon nosecone open sequence will begin.

Falcon 9 Second Stage Engine Shuts Down

After about nine minutes of flight, the Falcon 9’s second stage has shut down and the Dragon spacecraft now is in orbit, where it will soon separate from Falcon 9’s upper stage and continue its journey to the International Space Station. Momentarily, the rocket’s first stage will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

First Stage Main Engine Cutoff; First, Second Stages Separate

The Falcon 9 rocket has reached first stage main engine cutoff (MECO), and the first and second stages have separated. Next, the Falcon 9’s second stage engine will start.

Liftoff! NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Begins Journey to International Space Station

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission launches from Kennedy Space Center at 10:53 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, lit up Florida’s night sky, as NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin, started their approximately 28-hour journey to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission. Liftoff occurred at 10:53 p.m. EST.

At the time of launch, the space station is flying 260 statute miles over the southern Arabian Sea, southwest of India.

Up Next: NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Liftoff

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission launch on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Photo credit: NASA Television

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, with NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick; Michael Barratt; and Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin is now just five minutes away. Everything is proceeding according to schedule, and all is looking good for the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Remains on Schedule, Launch Less Than10 Minutes Away

 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission launch on Sunday, March 3, 2024. Photo credit: NASA Television

Fuel loading is complete on the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage. Everything remains on target for the 10:53 p.m. EST scheduled launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Propellant and Liquid Oxygen Loading Underway

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fueling has begun. Rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) loading and first stage liquid oxygen loading is underway. A few minutes from now, fueling will begin for the second stage.

Launch weather officers with the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. Liftoff remains scheduled for 10:53 p.m. EST.

Crew Access Arm Retracted

The crew access arm has retracted, and momentarily the Dragon spacecraft’s launch escape system will be armed. This will allow the Crew-8 crew members to escape safely in the unlikely event of an anomaly from the moment the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off until the time they reach orbit – a timespan of roughly 12 minutes.

Propellant loading is expected to begin shortly.

Dragon is ’Go’ for Launch; Falcon 9 Fueling Underway

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

The confirmation that Dragon is “go” for launch just came through. In just a few minutes, the Falcon 9 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.