Monday, 06 July, 2020

Watch live right here as SpaceX launches NASA astronauts into space

Epoch Times How to watch ‘historic’ NASA-SpaceX Demo-2 mission live from home
Sandy Nunez | 28 May, 2020, 00:49

Astronauts Doug Hurley, foreground, and Bob Behnken work in SpaceX's flight simulator at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., as SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at Kennedy Space Center and the company's Mission Control in Hawthorne, Calif., along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, run a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft on March 19, 2020.

The launch sends NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley into orbit, and on their way to the International Space Station (ISS).

Update: We're continuing to provide live updates on how to watch the Space X launch, offering weather update to determine if it can launch (they're cutting it close right now) and filling you in on everything you missed in the live stream.

Why it matters: If all goes according to plan, the SpaceX launch will mark the first time a private company has launched people to orbit, and the first crewed rocket launch from US soil since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

The Hawthorne, Calif. -based rocket company, founded by Musk in 2002 and formerly known as Space Exploration Technologies, has never previously flown humans into orbit, only cargo. For us, a silver lining to this pandemic is the special time we've had together as a family prior to launch, only because of our extended quarantine.

In 2018, Trump unveiled his America First National Space Strategy, a year after reconvening the National Space Council after a 24-year hiatus and directing Nasa to land humans on the moon by 2024 for the first time since the final Apollo mission in 1972.

With Tropical Storm Bertha churning over SC, there was a risk of high waves causing safety criteria violations at possible emergency splashdown sites in the Atlantic.

A cargo ship arrives at the International Space Station
A cargo ship arrives at the International Space Station

If the rocket doesn't get off the pad on Wednesday, the next launch opportunity would be Saturday.

"We're doing it differently than we've ever done it before", Bridenstine said.

Today's mission from Launch Complex 39A in Florida is historic for another reason too.

At midday, though, with four hours remaining before liftoff, launch controllers put the chances of acceptable weather for liftoff at just 50-50 because of rain, clouds and thunderstorms at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. They'll also be responsible for conducting tests on the Crew Dragon and performing other experiments.

The space agency also estimated 1.7 million people were watching the launch preparations online.

"They can be there probably until early August", Bridenstine said of the Demo-2 mission. The space company launched its Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 10:30 am (1530 GMT) to check the capsule's ability to reliably carry crew to safety in the event of an emergency on ascent.

Hurley (the spacecraft commander) and Behnken (the joint operations commander) are NASA astronauts, engineers and both former members of US military (Hurley is a former marine, while Behnken was in the US Air Force). The vehicle docked with the International Space Station and returned to Earth in 2019 as a dry run for the current mission.

China Reports Completing Nearly 7 Million Tests in Wuhan Campaign
As of Monday, a total of 82,992 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported on the mainland with 4,634 fatalities, the NHC added. The massive testing of Wuhan residents is reportedly geared towards boosting public confidence on reopening the economy.