NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be transported to the launchpad for their historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission in a Tesla Model X.
A first look at the Tesla Model X that will act as the SpaceX astronaut transfer vehicle was tweeted out by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. The White Model X features the NASA meatball logo on the driver and passenger doors and the recently reintroduced retro worm logo on the rear window.
On launch day, Behnken and Hurley will exit the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at the Kennedy Space Center and climb into the backseat of the Model X. The all-electric SUV will transport the pair over the 14-kilometer (9-mile) stretch from the O&C building to the historic Pad 39A.
Once strapped into the seats of SpaceX Demo-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket, the pair will embark on their journey to the International Space Station at 20:33 UTC. Behnken and Hurley are expected to remain onboard the station for a currently undefined “extended stay”.
This sequence will likely be of great significance to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. The mercurial entrepreneur is, in addition to being the CEO of SpaceX, the CEO and majority shareholder of Tesla. The launch will be the culmination of 15 years of work for Musk and SpaceX.