NASA and SpaceX are going ahead with preparations for the historic launch happening on May 27. After two days of intensive tests and retro checks on May 20 and 21, NASA is giving Elon Musk's SpaceX the signal to launch its first astronauts to space next week.
Before the launch can happen, however, there is still a lot more work to do for the two space companies to complete, including another check on Monday, May 25. The good thing is that the officials have deemed that there were no significant issues that would prevent the flight from happening.
Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Wednesday, May 27 at 4:33 p.m. EDT for Crew Dragon’s launch to the @Space_Station with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug on board → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK pic.twitter.com/bhcTq4jxAr — SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 22, 2020
NASA gives SpaceX the 'Go For Launch' on May 27 but needs more tests before 'Dragon' can fly
Jim Bridenstine went in front of a press conference and said, "It was a good review, great discussion, I think everybody in the room was very clear that now's the time to speak up if there are any challenges, at the end we got to a 'go'"
"So, we are now preparing for a launch in five short days," he added. Bridenstine was also bombarded by several questions regarding the nature of the mission and discussions from the reporters present at that time.
SpaceX is planning to launch its first crew to space on May 27. It will bring NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken all the way to the International Space Station currently in orbit around Earth. The flight will be the final test for SpaceX for NASA's Commercial Crew Program, in which NASA enlists privately-owned companies to create starships to transport astronauts to and from the ISS.
SpaceX has been working hard on their starship, and after six years of development, testing, and trials, the company is now less than a week away from finally have their turn to bring people out into space inside their very rocket.
The review before launch is extensive in order to check for technical issues. They need to check on things like the crew's parachutes (which have undergone several tests over the past few years), unexpected technical problems that may arise (i.e., SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule exploded from just a ground test), and the company's ability to suppress unexpected fires within the Dragon.
Steve Jurczyk, NASA's associate administrator said, "there are no significant open issues, I am happy to report, It was a very, in the end, was a very, very clean review."
While NASA has given SpaceX the green light, they plan on doing a "dry dress rehearsal" on Saturday, May 23, in Behnken and Hurley. They will suit up in SpaceX's custom spacesuits and prepare as if it's the actual launch. The review on Monday will also be the final check; if it fails, no launch will happen next week.