SpaceX Launching Astronauts on Crew Dragon

SpaceX is streaming the launch countdown for the first US launched crews since the Space Shuttle was retired.

Thrusters on the Dragon Enable Crew Escape if Needed

There is a crew escape system and many other changes that should make the system about four times safer than the Space Shuttle.

Illustration of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket during the company’s uncrewed In-Flight Abort Test for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. This demonstration test of Crew Dragon’s launch escape capabilities is designed to provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

NASA’s space shuttle had a LOC of about 1 in 68. Two Shuttle missions out of 135 missions lost crew. SpaceX dragon crew-risk number is 1 in 276 and its mission-risk number is 1 in 6.

The instantaneous launch window opens at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC, with a backup instantaneous launch opportunity available on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, or 19:00 UTC. Tune in here to watch the launch webcast. Coverage will begin about 4 hours before liftoff.

Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.