Just hours after naming the date for the first operational crewed flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, NASA has posted a rousing video (above) designed to generate even more excitement around the event.
The Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), operated in partnership with SpaceX, is scheduled to lift off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:49 p.m. PT on Saturday, November 14.
The mission is significant as it will be the first operational crewed flight using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, transporting NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi from Japan’s space agency, to the ISS about 250 miles above Earth.
The Crew Dragon has already carried two astronauts — Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — to and from the space station as part of the capsule’s successful Demo-2 test mission over the summer. Demo-2 gained international attention as it was the first astronaut launch from U.S. soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, and marked an end to reliance on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for getting NASA astronauts into space. The mission was also a major step forward for commercial launch provider SpaceX as it continues to develop its reusable rocket system designed to cut the cost of access to space.
The Crew-1 astronauts are currently in quarantine in their homes or living quarters as part of measures to avoid any kind of infection prior to lift-off. In the coming days, they’ll move to stricter quarantine conditions to ensure they’re fit and healthy when they arrive at the space station.
The four astronauts will join Expedition 64 cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, on the ISS. The trio arrived at the orbiting outpost aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on October 14.
The Crew-1 mission has faced various delays for a variety of reasons. The most recent launch date of October 31 was scrubbed after an issue surfaced with two of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket engines during a non-NASA launch effort earlier this month. That issue has now been resolved, paving the way for the highly anticipated November 14 launch.
Be sure to check back for more details on how to watch the launch live online.