The Falcon 9 rocket that will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken into orbit fired its engines in a ground test at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) on Friday, May 22. Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now
After a two-day readiness review, NASA managers gave a green light Friday for SpaceX to proceed with final preparations for launch next Wednesday, May 27, of a commercial spaceship carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station on the first orbital spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011.
Hours later, SpaceX test-fired the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 rocket that will boost Hurley and Behnken into orbit aboard the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The Flight Readiness Review’s conclusion Friday kicked off a busy Memorial Day weekend at the Kennedy Space Center. The Dragon astronauts will put on in their SpaceX-made flight suits Saturday and ride in a Tesla Model X automobile to launch pad 39A, where the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon capsule were placed on their seaside launch mount Thursday.
Hurley and Behnken — both veterans of two space shuttle flights — will climb aboard the Dragon capsule with the help of about a half-dozen SpaceX crew technicians, practicing ...