SpaceX is on track to launch a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule carrying four private astronauts from Kennedy Space Center this evening. Watch Florida Today’s Space Team live launch coverage https://www.floridatoday.com/space/.
Here’s everything you need to know:
- Liftoff is scheduled for Sunday, May 21 at 5:37 PM EDT from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- Forecasters predicted a 60% chance of “go” conditions on the pad.
- About eight minutes later, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage booster will produce a sonic boom as it aims to land back at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Landing Zone 1.
- Axiom-2 is the second all-private crewed mission to the International Space Station for Houston-based Axiom Space. It is under contract with NASA.
- The work is expected to last about ten days; Eight arrived at the International Space Station and two days of travel.
- After disconnection, the four-person crew will return to Earth to land on the Florida coast at a location in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean, which will be determined by weather conditions.
- Former NASA astronaut PeggyWhitson, the Axiom space director of human spaceflight, will command the mission.
- Whitson is a private spaceflight participant and is joined by two other government-sponsored astronauts:
- Mission pilot John Shofner
- Mission Specialists Ali Alkarni and Rayyana Barnawi: The second and third Saudi citizens to fly into space and the first to visit the ISS and the first astronauts funded by the Saudi Arabian government
- Four private astronauts will launch aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Freedom” capsule.
- It was named after NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti as members of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission in April 2022.
For latest information, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Follow Jamie Groh by contacting him at [email protected] Twitter at @AlteredJamie.
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