SpaceX is readying a Falcon 9 rocket for its static fire test ahead of the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission. The static fire is part of the ongoing series of final tests and reviews before SpaceX embarks on its first human spaceflight mission. The test is scheduled to take place today no earlier than 16:33 EDT (20:33 UTC).
The test is the final time NASA has to gather data on SpaceX’s load-and-go fueling process as Demo-2 will be the first time NASA allows a rocket to be fueled for flight with a crew onboard.
Demo-2’s launch is currently set for May 27th at 16:33:31 EDT (20:33:31 UTC). If a problem comes up that necessitates a scrub – such as poor weather or a vehicle issue – the next available date would be May 30th.
The flight will mark the first crewed orbital mission from the United States since July 2011, when the Space Shuttle was retired. The Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon will carry NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) for one to four months depending on Dragon’s on-orbit performance.
But before that can happen, one of the last major milestones before flight is ...