KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule are ready for launch.
NASA concluded its Flight Readiness Review Friday and cleared the crew and rocket of the historic mission for launch on Wednesday, May 27 at 4:33 p.m. EDT.
It was the first Flight Readiness Review since space shuttle Atlantis flew its last mission in 2011. That was also the last time America launched an astronaut from the U.S.
The socially-distanced meeting involved NASA and SpaceX managers to go over the Demo-2 mission, including a review of the Crew Dragon systems, the Falcon 9 rocket and the readiness of the International Space Station, where the spacecraft is docking 19 hours after launch.
The launch team's mandate is not just to safely launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, but safely return the pair home.
"They have been laser-focused on launching Bob and Doug into space, getting them to the space station, and getting them home safely," NASA Associate Administrator Stephen Jurczyk said. "I've never seen a team work together this effectively."
Behnken and Hurley will be the first astronauts to launch on a rocket as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
The astronauts arrived at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday ahead of the launch. The astronauts spent weeks in quarantine in Houston, and will continue the quarantine all the way up to the launch.
The crew will participate in a dry dress rehearsal Saturday, plus the launch team will host a final Flight Readiness Review on Monday.
A static-fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket happened just after 4:30 p.m. EDT Friday. It's a wet dress rehearsal by firing the engines at full thrust without leaving the pad.
The Dragon crew capsule will launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, heading to the International Space Station. Liftoff will take place from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Spectrum News will have live coverage online and on our network stations.