Home / Science / NASA SPACEX LAUNCHES: 9 things to know about launching SpaceX's Crew Dragon

NASA SPACEX LAUNCHES: 9 things to know about launching SpaceX's Crew Dragon

CAP CANAVERAL, FLA. – The countdown begins.

SpaceX is counting down the number of days before launching its spaceship Crew Dragon for the first time this weekend.

Channel 9 will provide live and in-depth coverage of the launch on Saturday. But by then, there are nine things to know before takeoff:

1) When is the launch?
The launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon is scheduled at 2:48 am on Saturday, March 2nd from Cape Canaveral.

2) Why is he launching?
This is a spacecraft demonstration mission designed to quickly transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

According to the Kennedy Space Center, this launch will open a new era of space exploration when astronauts launch themselves into space again from American soil.

3) Who will be on board?
Nobody will be on board this time. According to Associated Press, this test launch will only contain one manikin instrumented in a SpaceX white space suit.

4) How can I watch?
You can watch at home right here on WFTV.com, live on Channel 9, on the WFTV app and on the WFTV Facebook page.

If you wish to attend in person, the Kennedy Space Center sells packages that allow you to be close to the launch.

You can also walk outside and look east towards Cape Canaveral to try to catch the rocket that is spreading in space.

5) How far can I get close?
Close enough to feel the heat. The Kennedy Space Center sells "Feel the Heat" tickets that will allow the public to get as close as possible to the launch pad, located about 4 miles away.

There are also additional packages that will attract viewers within 13 km of the launch. Details on these packages are available here.

6) What does it look like on board?
SpaceX offers a video tour of the inside of the probe on its website. You can look inside here.

7) What is the weather like?
Forecasters predict a favorable 80% forecast for Saturday's launch. Check out the five-day forecast here.

8) When is the first crewed mission?
The first launch of the Crew Dragon with a real crew on board is scheduled for April. It is expected that two astronauts will be aboard this mission: Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken. Click here to read their biographies.

9) When is the last time American astronauts visit space?
The crewed mission in April would be the first NASA astronaut launch from American soil in eight years, since the end of the NASA shuttle program, according to the AP. Since then, American astronauts have been using Russian rockets to get to the space station.

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