UPDATE: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has made history as the first private spacecraft to launch astronauts into Earth’s orbit
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were the astronauts on board the successful launch on Saturday. The SpaceX Twitter account live-tweeted updates as the shuttle lifted off and entered orbit.
Crew Dragon has separated from Falcon 9’s second stage and is on its way to the International Space Station with @Astro_Behnken and @AstroDoug! Autonomous docking at the @Space_Station will occur at ~10:30 a.m. EDT tomorrow, May 31 pic.twitter.com/bSZ6yZP2bD
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2020
Although the mission was first attempted on May 27, poor weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., prevented its launch and the event was rescheduled for Saturday at 3:22 p.m. PT.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be aboard the spacecraft, but the ship itself was created by Space X, Elon Musk’s commercial aerospace company. The astronauts are headed to the International Space Station, where they will orbit the Earth for up to 110 days until the next commercial crew is ready for orbit.
NASA began live-streaming the launch on YouTube starting at 8 a.m. PT and will continue to cover the event until the Crew Dragon is expected to dock at the International Space Station at 7:20 a.m. PT on Sunday. SpaceX will also stream the launch live on its YouTube channel.
However, since it is hurricane season in Florida, there is a chance that the historic launch may get delayed yet again. In that case, NASA and SpaceX have reserved two back-up dates: May 31 at 12 p.m. PT and June 2, with the time yet to be determined. According to the U.S. military’s 45th Space Wing, which oversees rocket launches, there is a 50% chance that the weather will be suitable for today’s launch.
Watch NASA’s livestream of the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch below.