SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk in 2002, is steamrolling toward its first-ever rocket launch of people into orbit.
The NASA-funded commercial mission is called Demo-2 and will fly two passengers: seasoned NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
If all goes according to plan, the team will lift off inside the company’s new Crew Dragon spaceship at 4:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday, in effect resurrecting human spaceflight from America after nearly a decade of dormancy. If the weather or other conditions don’t cooperate, SpaceX’s next chance to launch Demo-2 will be Saturday, May 30, at a similar time.
But before Demo-2’s launch can happen, SpaceX needs to clear a number of final safety hurdles, and the company on Friday passed two of those penultimate steps.
“We are now preparing for a launch in five short days,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a televised press briefing on Friday, later adding: “We are a go.”