SpaceX’s “Demo-2” mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this weekend will be the first flight with astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon capsule built by entrepreneur Elon Musk’s commercial space company.
SpaceX conducted a successful test flight of Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) in March 2019 with a sensor-laden mannequin on board named Ripley, after the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the “Alien” movies.
Bob Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, former military test pilots who joined NASA in 2000, are to blast off from historic Launch Pad 39A on a two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
NASA has tentatively scheduled the launch for Saturday afternoon but will assess the weather situation that morning and may decide to push the flight back to Sunday or even a later date.
Wednesday’s scheduled flight was scrubbed 17 minutes before blastoff because of weather concerns.
It will be the first crewed launch from US soil of a US-made rocket since the space shuttle program ended in 2011 and the first ever by a private company.