The launch will be broadcast as all other historic NASA missions on the agency’s YouTube channel. You can watch it here as well, attached below this text.
The anticipated mission is called Demo-2, and it’s the first crewed flight of the SpaceX-designed Crew Dragon spacecraft, taken up the International Space Station with the help of the SpaceX Falcon 9.
Two men are on board this historic mission, joint operations commander Robert Behnken and spacecraft commander Douglas Hurley.
The two are tasked with evaluating first hand how the spacecraft behaves and whether it is safe to be used on future missions as well. If all is in order, NASA will validate the spacecraft for “operational, long-duration missions to the space station” and effectively open a new chapter in space exploration.
The launch of the Crew Dragon will mark the return of crewed space mission to American soil for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said earlier on Saturday the success of the mission would not mean the end of the collaboration with the Russian Space Agency, and there’s still a possibility of the Soyuz being used to launch Americans.
If successful, NASA is also considering sending Russian astronauts to the ISS using Crew Dragon.