October 22, 2020

Photos: Crew Dragon mated with Falcon 9 rocket


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Crew Dragon, meet Falcon 9.

SpaceX has released photos showing the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket that will carry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aloft next week.

The Crew Dragon is set to launch next Wednesday, May 27, from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff time is set for 4:33:33 p.m. EDT (2033:33 GMT) to kick off a 19-hour pursuit of the International Space Station.

The human-rated capsule arrived at the hangar built on the southern perimeter of pad 39A last Friday, May 15, to be integrated with its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. These photos show the Crew Dragon spacecraft — measuring 26.7 feet (8.1 meters) tall and around 13 feet (4 meters) in diameter — inside the hangar mounted on SpaceX’s strongback transporter for rollout to the launch pad.

The capsule’s reflective body-mounted solar arrays are easily recognizable in the images, along with its stabilization fins, which would help with aerodynamics of the spacecraft had to perform a launch abort maneuver.

Three other Falcon 9 first stage boosters are pictured inside the pad 39A hangar. The white vehicle on the right side of the third image is a brand new booster assigned to the launch of a U.S. military GPS navigation satellite June 30. The other two boosters show the markings of previous trips into space.

The fully-assembled Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon capsule stretches 215 feet (65 meters) long tip to tail. The launch set for May 27 will mark the 85th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since its debut launch June 4, 2010.

It will be the first crewed space mission to launch into orbit from a U.S. spaceport since the final space shuttle launch July 8, 2011.

See our Mission Status Center for continuing live coverage of the Crew Dragon’s Demo-2 test flight.

The Crew Dragon’s body-mounted solar panels are visible in this picture. Credit: SpaceX
Crew Dragon is mated to its Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: SpaceX
Amid other Falcon boosters, the Falcon 9 rocket for the Crew Dragon’s first piloted mission is connected to SpaceX’s strongback transporter inside the hangar at launch pad 39A. Credit: SpaceX

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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