Yesterday night, NASA and Space X are scheduled to launch the first ever “operational” Crew Dragon mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Tonight, just after the sundown, NASA and Japan’s space agency, JAXA, will send four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule. If all goes according to plan, Falcon 9 will roar to life at 7:27 p.m. EST and lift off from Launch Complex 39a at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Based on reports, as numerous SpaceX technicians in black uniforms and face masks assisted them, the astronauts smiled and took photos with visitors, including Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, and Gwynne Shotwell, the president and chief operations officer of SpaceX.
There cause a brief delay, about 90 minutes before the prepared launch, concerns about the seal on the spacecraft’s hatch caused a brief delay, but Space X crews resolved the issue and returned to the timeline for the launch preparations. This is for the first time NASA calls for “operational” flights.