Info Shymkent - Astronauts for 1st Crew Dragon flight: Behnken and Hurley (Image: NASA)

Crew Dragon Demo-2: 1st crewed SpaceX flight is ready

SpaceX is ready to fly with Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight the first private orbital flight into space to the International Space Station.

3233 days or 8 years, 10 months, 9 days, 9 hours and 24 minutes will be the duration between the last Space Shuttle landing and the upcoming launch of Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday. During this time no crewed spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral and from the United States of America.

After the touchdown of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the runway of the Kennedy Space Center on a early July morning in 2011 nobody expected that the gap will be nearly a decade. They expected that a crew capsule named Orion of the Constellation Program started by US president Bush junior will fly, soon. Nobody expected that a private rocket called Falcon 9 which made just a maiden flight in 2010 on the launch pad LC-40 – just some pads south of the Space Shuttle launch pad LC-39A – will launch on the Space Shuttle launch pad and close the gap and bring American astronauts back to space.

When the rich entrepreneur Elon Musk made a presentation in May 2014 to build a spacecraft named Crew Dragon with a futurist unique design many laughed and saw still only gouvernemental flights in the future. But there was also some people with a less skeptical view – also in the high positions of NASA. They selected the SpaceX Crew Dragon to fly in the Commercial Crew Program. But they selected also the big player Boeing to build another spacecraft called CST-100 Starliner (for the double price). Because they expected that the experienced Air and Space technology company will make sure that the goal will be accomplished to get a fast crewed access to space again.

Info Shymkent - LC39A was a Shuttle Launch Pad - now Falcon 9 is launching here (Image: NASA)
LC-39A was a Shuttle Launch Pad – now private Falcon 9 is launching here (Image: NASA)

But now – 6 years later – everything changed: Orion still didn’t went crewed to ISS. The big NASA rocket Space Launch System (SLS) even didn’t launched, yet. The test flight of Boeing’s Starliner was launched 7 month later than SpaceX Crew Dragon – and was a failure. The SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 – which made it’s maiden flight in 2010 – is now the rocket which made the most flights of the active US rocket types. From 87 launches was 85 successful. SpaceX achieved the goal to be the 1st private company who launched a orbital rocket, to fly to the International Space Station and to fly with a manned spacecraft into orbit. Now they will be the first who launch a manned spacecraft with a crew on board. They completely changed the spaceflight business! Now even Russia, India and China recognizing how old their current spacecraft technology is and working on new crewed spacecrafts to catch up with the new private leader in spaceflight.

I wish that also this Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight will be a success to make Private Spaceflight into the Earth Orbit and Beyond from Science Fiction – just to Fiction. Godspeed SpaceX!

Launch Date and Time

Launch is expected for the 27th of May 2020 at 20:33 UTC. But was scrubbed.

EDT (Local Time, Cape Canaveral)27th May 16:33
UTC27th May 20:33
CEST (Berlin, Paris)27th May 22:33
ALMT (Shymkent, Almaty)28th May 02:33

The next opportunity is on Saturday, 30th of May 2020 at 19:22 UTC.

EDT (Local Time, Cape Canaveral)30th May 15:22
UTC30th May 19:22
CEST (Berlin, Paris)30th May 21:22
ALMT (Shymkent, Almaty)31th May 01:22
Info Shymkent - Crew Dragon is ready for its 1st crewed flight (Image: SpaceX)
Crew Dragon is ready for its 1st crewed flight (Image: SpaceX)


Countdown for Crew Dragon Demo-2:

> 45:00Astronauts Bob Behnken & Doug Hurley will enter Crew Dragon
– 45:00SpaceX Launch Director verifices “GO for propellant load
– 42:00Crew access arm retracts
– 37:00Crew Dragon’s escape system is armed
– 35:00RP-1 (Rocket Grade Kerosene) loading begins
– 35:001st stage LOX (Liquid Oxygen) loading begins
– 16:002nd stage LOX loading begins
– 07:00Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
– 05:00Crew Dragon transition to internal power
– 01:00Command flight to begin final prelaunch checks
– 01:00Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
– 00:45SpaceX Launch Director verifies “GO for Launch”
– 00:03Engine Controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
– 00:00Falcon 9 Liftoff! Godspeed!
Info Shymkent - Inside of the modern Crew Dragon (Image: SpaceX)
Inside of the modern Crew Dragon (Image: SpaceX)

Launch, Landing and Crew Dragon Deployment

00:58Max Q (Moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
02:331st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
02:361st separation and begins return to earth to a barge
02:442nd stage engine starts
07:151st stage entry burn
08:472nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
08:521st stage landing burn
09:221st stage landing on barge in Atlantic Ocean
12:00Dragon Separates from 2nd stage
12:46Dragon nosecone open sequence begins to give access to