Watch Live Now! SpaceX Launching 1st Astronaut Mission For NASA

UPDATE: Just moments prior to the scheduled lift-off, NASA announced plans to scrub today’s planned SpaceX launch and try again Saturday.

SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission has been four years in the making and will launch today, May 27, at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT). Demo-2 will mark the first launch of NASA astronauts on a commercial spacecraft and the first launch of American astronauts into orbit on a U.S.-built vehicle from America since 2011.

The mission will blast off from Kennedy Space Center. Two veteran NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The launch will begin a 19-hour journey to the International Space Station, where the astronauts will spend between one and four months living and working.

President Trump and Vice PresidentPence are expected to be at the Kennedy Space Center, where visitors will be limited.

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“This is a big moment in time,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on the eve of the launch. “It’s been nine years since we’ve had this opportunity.”

The launch puts Elon Musk’s SpaceX on the cusp of becoming the first private company to put astronauts in orbit, something achieved by just three countries — Russia, the U.S. and China.

Riding aboard the brand new SpaceX Dragon capsule for the historic flight: veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. The test flight will take them to the International Space Station.

“We are ready!” Behnken tweeted Tuesday night.

Bridenstine describes the duo as bold American heroes who are “laying the foundation for a new era in human spaceflight.”

Wednesday’s weather in Florida has been a concern; it was raining with low clouds in the morning.

NASA pushed ahead with the astronaut launch despite the coronavirus pandemic, but asked spectators to stay at home to lower the risk of spreading the virus. Beaches and parks along Florida’s Space Coast are open again, and local officials and businesses put out a socially distanced welcome mat. Signs on local businesses wished “Godspeed SpaceX.” More

Here’s something positive in our crazy world. Very exciting. You don’t have to be an Elon Musk fan to be proud of this launch today. The fact that the private industry is bringing this about in concert with NASA, I believe is a great thing. Way better than the taxpayers funding the entire thing.

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