Officially designated Demo-2, this mission is a significant step forward for Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Not only will it be the first crewed mission to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in nine years, but it’ll be the first Dragon capsule (and Falcon Heavy rocket) to ferry humans into low Earth orbit.
Astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken are tasked with giving Dragon a thorough shakedown cruise as they ride into orbit slowly and methodically. The Falcon 9 rocket is specially fitted with more instruments than any other flight to provide as much telemetry as possible for the engineers back on the ground. Following lift off, Hurley and Behnken will slowly ascend to the Space Station while performing diagnostics, analytics and maneuvers which will help determine Dragon’s space worthiness.
Once docked at the space station the astronauts will join expedition 63 for an – as yet – unspecified length of time, NASA says that the duration will be determined by a series of factors with the maximum flight time of the capsule rated at around 110 days.
We’ll be LIVE tomorrow with all the launch day developments with our expert commentary and analysis from 6.15am. Get an Aussie spin on this historic launch only on Trekzone.