MAY 24, 2020 4:42 AM PDT

NASA Gives Green Light for Historic Crewed SpaceX Launch

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

It’s no secret that NASA is working closely with private contractors like Boeing and SpaceX as a part of its Commercial Crew Program to develop a budget-friendly means of blasting astronauts off into outer space; and perhaps more importantly, to break away from dependence on other countries for crewed space launches by bringing some of those back to American soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle era nearly a decade ago.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

To date, only SpaceX has successfully passed all of NASA’s extensive trials and safety tests to be deemed ‘crew ready.’ Boeing, on the other hand, displayed technical difficulties during one of its Starliner demonstration missions, which might explain why only SpaceX is poised to launch two American astronauts to the International Space Station this week whereas Boeing is still trying to figure out the safety of its systems.

NASA pegged Wednesday, May 27th for SpaceX’s first official crewed spaceflight date last month, but it wasn’t until just this past Friday that a review panel comprised of NASA’s board of directors and top SpaceX officials officially gave the launch the green light.

The Falcon 9 rocket for this final demonstration mission, dubbed Demo-2, already stands tall at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and at the top of that rocket resides the Crew Dragon spacecraft that will loft NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space and ferry them to the International Space Station for docking.

Brief static fire tests and extensive inspections transpired on Friday as engineers scoured the systems for any potential obstacles that could impact the success of Wednesday’s launch. None were discovered.

"We did a thorough review of all the systems and all the risks, and it was unanimous on the board that we are 'go for launch'," elucidated NASA associate administrator Stephen Jurczyk.

Related: Hear what astronauts think about SpaceX’s upcoming crewed launch for NASA

As you might come to expect, astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are excited to be at the forefront of this historic launch. Both astronauts have been tested extensively for COVID-19 amid the current health pandemic, and each test has returned negative. The crew are rumored to be tested one more time ahead of Wednesday’s launch to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Source: NASA via BBC, Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
NASA Officially Retires the Spitzer Space Telescope
NASA is always sending spacecraft into space to explore the universe around us; be it the close-proximity stellar neighb ...
FEB 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 09, 2020
Here's Why NASA Needs Another Space Station Orbiting the Moon
NASA already has the International Space Station at its disposal, and with that in mind, many have come to question why ...
MAR 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 22, 2020
Critical Sample Handling Equipment is Installed on the Perseverance Rover
It was only a couple of weeks ago that NASA’s Mars 2020 rover got renamed to the Perseverance rover, and with a la ...
APR 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 10, 2020
Discovery on solar interstellar magnetic field
New information on the solar neighborhood has allowed researchers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Un ...
MAY 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 27, 2020
Unfavorable Weather Delays SpaceX's Historic Crewed American Launch
After officially receiving the green light from NASA to move forward with the first crewed space launch from American so ...
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JUN 14, 2020
NASA Picks Astrobotic to Deliver VIPER Rover to the Moon
NASA is no stranger to autonomous rovers. To date, the American space agency has sent four rovers to the Martian surface ...
Loading Comments...