The first time astronauts will take off from the US since NASA’s space shuttle program ended in 2011 will be next week.
NASA and SpaceX have confirmed that they’ve had “a very successful launch readiness review” at a virtual press conference. They „unanimously decided that everything’s in place for a May 27th launch.” The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft taking the astronauts to the ISS are positioned at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. It still has to complete a final readiness review, which will incorporate data from the critical static fire test, on May 25th. The launch is now set for Wednesday at 4:33 p.m.
Positioning the rocket at the launch pad
The launch still could be delayed by weather or any number of last-minute mechanical glitches. Officials from NASA and SpaceX said part of the review focused on the safety of the parachutes that would deploy and slow the Dragon spacecraft. The astronauts Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley have been in quarantine for more than a week. They have been tested for the coronavirus twice. President Donald Trump plans to travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday to witness the launch. It will be his first trip not related to the pandemic.