We saw the dragon from SpaceX's crewand survive the examination of a , and now we are finally ready to watch with the help of a Falcon 9 rocket.
Fans of space in the United States will have to stay awake late to watch the unproven historical mission of Demonstration 1 (Demo-1) take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA scheduled the launch at 23:49. PT on Friday, March 1st (2:49 pm ET on Saturday, March 2nd) and will broadcast the proceedings live on NASA TV as of 23:00. PT Friday night.
On Friday, forecasts seemed good for the weekend, with meteorologists predicting an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions.
Demo-1 will mark a serious step forward for NASA, which involves SpaceX and Boeing working on the launch of American ground astronauts.
NASA hopes to end its dependence on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He has been buying tours on Roscosmos capsules since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.
While SpaceX has sent Dragon cargo capsules to the International Space Station, the crew version is longer and heavier and designed to accommodate four astronauts.
On Thursday, SpaceX and NASA straightened the Falcon 9 rocket in the 39A launch complex, the same platform used by many astronauts in the space shuttle era.
This crew dragon test mission will have on board supplies and crew equipment. He will also have a special guest model, with Elon Musk presenting Thursday "Ripley" to the world.
The manikin will remain in the Crew Dragon capsule and contains a body full of sensors that will give SpaceX a better idea of what's going on inside the capsule. It takes its name from the famous badass space wizard made famous by the Alien franchise, Ellen Ripley.
"Thinking about Ripley's position is essential," said Kathy Lueders, NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager, at a press conference prior to the flight.
The capsule will remain docked at the ISS for five days before returning to Earth to land in the Atlantic Ocean.
NASA has described the first unprepared test flights as "general rehearsals for missions with astronauts in vehicles".
If Demo-1 goes well, NASA and SpaceX lock it for another safety test: the "flight drop test". This will ensure the proper functioning of the systems used in an emergency, in which it may be necessary to drop the capsule away from the rocket. Once NASA and SpaceX are satisfied, the time has come to kick-off: send astronauts aboard a Dragon Crew scheduled for launch mid-2019.
First published February 27 at 3:49 pm PT
Update from March 1st at 3am: Adds additional information on the launch, Ripley.
Updated March 1 at 10:19 am Pacific Time: Adds weather conditions from Friday.