The SpaceX Demo-2 Crew Dragon that will carry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center ahead of its May 27 Launch.
The Demo-2 Crew Dragon was wheeled into the SpaceX facility at Kennedy’s Pad 39A on Friday, May 15. The spacecraft that will be the first to carry American astronauts from American soil in almost a decade made the short trip from the SpaceX processing facility at nearby Cape Canaveral.
Hurley and Behnken are expected to launch aboard the SpaceX Demo-2 Crew Dragon from the historic launch pad at 20:33 UTC on May 27. The maiden crewed launch of the Dragon will add to the legacy of the launchpad which has hosted Apollo 8, Apollo 11, and the first and last Space Shuttle missions to name but a few.
However, the NASA SpaceX Demo-2 mission is unique. It will be the first time a commercial operator has launched a crewed orbital launch vehicle to the International Space Station. Not the first from the pad. The first ever. A feat that has been at the forefront of the efforts of SpaceX and its mercurial CEO Elon Musk since its founding in 2002.
Once safely in orbit, the Demo-2 Crew Dragon will rendezvous and autonomously dock with the International Space Station. Hurley and Behnken will be greeted by NASA’s Chris Cassidy and Roscmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. The pair will remain onboard for a currently undetermined “extended stay.”
According to reports, the length of Hurley and Behnken’s stay will depend on how well the Demo-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft holds up to the rigors of space. The stay is, however, likely to range from one to months.