SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts into orbit arrived at launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida late Friday, May 15, to be attached to its Falcon 9 rocket. The capsule will carry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station.
The commercial crew capsule is scheduled for launch May 27 at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT), marking the first flight of astronauts from a U.S. spaceport since the last launch of the space shuttle July 8, 2011.
The Crew Dragon was transported by road from a fueling facility at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to pad 39A. Before its move to the launch pad, the spacecraft was filled with hypergolic hydrazine and tetroxide propellants for the capsule’s launch escape engines and orbital maneuvering thrusters.
The ship’s Falcon 9 launcher was already inside the hangar at the southern perimeter of the launch pad, the same seaside complex where Apollo moon missions and space shuttles departed Earth.
Once SpaceX technicians confirm mechanical and electrical connection between the spacecraft and the rocket, the entire 215-foot (65-meter) vehicle will roll out to pad 39A and raised vertical for a test-firing of the Falcon 9’s Merlin main engines later this week.
Read our earlier story for details on the schedule leading up to liftoff May 27.
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