SpaceX to launch first crewed mission to space today1 min read . Updated: 30 May 2020, 11:48 PM IST
It would also be NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from US soil in nearly a decade
Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is set to launch the first ever passenger mission to space by a private company. The company is doing the launch for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and will carry astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in the company’s new Crew Dragon space capsule.
This is also the first time a launch is taking place from US soil in nearly a decade. This launch was earlier scheduled for May 27, but the company had to cancel it minutes before the launch time due to bad weather caused by Tropical Storm Bertha. At the moment, NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, has said that there’s a fifty-fifty chance of the launch happening today.
There are still storms in Florida and Bridenstine said they are expected till about 3.30 pm ET, which translates to around 12.30 am IST. SpaceX is livestreaming the preparations for the launch on YouTube and the official timing is set at around 12.30 am IST.
The mission will be using SpaceX’s reusable rocket, Falcon 9, and the Crew Dragon capsule. The Falcon 9 is unique because it’s the world’s first reusable rocket, meaning its expensive parts can be reused after taking a crew to space or shooting a satellite into orbit. The rocket has already been used for sending satellites into orbits earlier. So, far SpaceX has done 83 launches and 44 landings, with 31 rockets being reused. The first such mission was done in 2010. It would also give NASA an alternative to the Russian Souyuz rockets it uses right now.