After decades of space travel — and a 24-hour delay — NASA is flying commercial. Later today, NASA is set to launch its first operational commercial crew mission with SpaceX, known as “Crew-1,” from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, travelling to the International Space Station. Here’s how to watch.
Why was the launch delayed?
The launch was originally set to take place yesterday, but was delayed because of conditions caused by Tropical Storm Eta that would have impacted SpaceX’s drone ship rocket recovery operations. But unlike most flight delays, this one means that the trip will take around three times longer than it would have yesterday, making the 8.5 hour trip take around 27 hours, “due to the way the orbital mechanics line up,” NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager Steve Stitch told reporters at a press briefing.
The delay means the that Crew-1 astronauts will spend the night in their Crew Dragon spacecraft. “It gives them more opportunity to try out Dragon,” Reed said. “I’m pretty sure there are a couple of broadcast events that they’ll be able to do with this time period, and you know, checking things out seeing the Earth go by.”
How to watch the launch
SpaceX’s Crew-1 astronauts will lift off in the Dragon — nicknamed “Resilience” — on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Monday November 16 at 11:27 a.m. AEDT.
You can watch live coverage starting today at 7:15 a.m. AEDT on NASA TV (or below). It’ll continue through the launch, the trip, and the spacecraft’s docking with the ISS. You can tune in here:
If the launch can’t take place today, it’ll be delayed until November 19, when NASA and SpaceX will try again.