The return to US soil of the launch of manned space missions feels more real now that the spacecraft and rocket that’ll make history are settled into place on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
On Thursday, SpaceX shared a time-lapse video of the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon capsule going vertical at launchpad 39A, the same spot where the final space shuttle mission launched in 2011. The with two NASA astronauts on board.
The short video shows a couple of different views of the rocket be raised, and then the crew access bridge swinging into place. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will use the bridge to board the capsule.
The Demo-2 mission is the final hurdle SpaceX needs to vault to prove that its Crew Dragon spacecraft is ready to ferry astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station on a regular basis. This’ll be SpaceX’s first time sending humans to orbit.
Earlier on Thursday, SpaceX shared photos of the spacecraft and rocket pair in the hangar at the launch complex.
Though the launch is scheduled for May 27, there are still some final items that need to be checked off before the rocket lights up. NASA and SpaceX are conducting a flight-readiness review this week and keeping an eye on weather conditions for next week.
For more information on Demo-2 and how to watch human spaceflight return to the US,.