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
MAY 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
These Contractors Will Develop Lunar Landers for NASA's Artemis Mission
MAY 03, 2020
These Contractors Will Develop Lunar Landers for NASA's Artemis Mission
NASA seems to be moving quickly to get the ball rolling for its lunar-centric initiative dubbed Artemis. The program aim ...
MAY 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
MAY 24, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
SpaceX is perhaps best known for its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the same variety that will be lofting astronauts into out ...
MAY 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Another SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes During Testing
MAY 31, 2020
Another SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes During Testing
Incomplete Starship prototypes are a common sight if you follow SpaceX’s plethora of rocket-centric projects, but ...
JUN 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What Will it Take to Photograph a Black Hole's Photon Ring?
JUN 16, 2020
What Will it Take to Photograph a Black Hole's Photon Ring?
Just over a year ago, astronomers tapped into the power of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight radio t ...
JUL 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
JUL 19, 2020
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
A recent study published in Scientific Reports sheds light on how our planet’s water could have first come to be. ...
AUG 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Planet-wide Rainstorms Created Lakes on Ancient Mars
AUG 26, 2020
Planet-wide Rainstorms Created Lakes on Ancient Mars
Researchers from the University of Texas have found that a huge amount of liquid water likely rained down from the skies ...
Loading Comments...