What’s the Idea?
NASA and SpaceX are on course to make global space history with the rocket launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 – find out how to watch live and where to see it in the sky!
What’s the story
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and Nasa are on course to make history on Saturday, by launching the Falcon 9 rocket and ‘Crew Dragon’ capsule to the International Space Station.
The rocket launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will take place from launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
It will be carrying the ‘Crew Dragon’, where Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will be seated.
This mission, known as ‘Demo-2’, is the first crewed mission for SpaceX and for Nasa’s Commercial Crew Programme.
People should do this because…?
We are excited to sit out in the garden and hopefully catch a glimpse of history in the making. The weather forecast predicts a clear night!
According to Nasa, the launch of the SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 and ‘Crew Dragon’ is a demonstration mission to show SpaceX’s ability to carry astronauts to the space station and back safely to earth.
It is the final major step required by SpaceX’s astronaut carrier, the ‘Crew Dragon’, to get certified by Nasa’s Commercial Crew Programme for more long-term manned missions to space.
According to the SpaceX website:
“Nasa’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.”
How do you do it?
You can view coverage of The Nasa/ SpaceX launch on:
Astronaut Tim Peake said the rocket will be visible in the UK if Britons look West, to the right of the moon, at 8.22pm – watch for a bright light moving overhead.
The Nasa website has additional resources to learn more about the astronauts and the mission, including a tour of the launchpad and a look at Nasa Spacecraft Simulation and Spacesuit Training.
Saturday, May 30 (all times in EDT, GMT +5)
- 11:00 a.m. – Nasa TV launch coverage begins (continues through post docking briefing)
- 3:22 p.m. – Liftoff
- 4:09 p.m. – Crew Dragon phase burn
- 4:55 p.m. – Far-field manual flight test
- 6:30 p.m. – Postlaunch news conference at Kennedy
Sunday, May 31
- 10:29 a.m. – Docking to the International Space Station
- 12:45 p.m. – Hatch open
- 1:15 p.m. – Welcome ceremony
- 3:15 p.m. – Post-arrival news conference
Monday, June 1
- 11:15 a.m. – Space Station crew news conference, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley
Stuff you may need
- Somewhere to look up at the sky
- Laptop, computer