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Crew Dragon lifts off carrying astronauts to the Space Station

NASA TV views of Crew Dragon’s liftoff.

MAY 30, 2020–At 3:22 p.m. today, Crew Dragon successfully lifted off aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying astronauts Bob Benkhen and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. Now at T+ 1 hour 30 minutes, the mission is proceeding smoothly.

Dragon’s launch today comes after an aborted launch on May 27, where weather caused a scrub. Today’s launch experienced much better weather conditions, with a 70% go for launch probability, compared to 40% last time.

The DM-2 launch is historic as it is the return of American astronauts on American rockets from American soil to space. The last U.S. crewed mission was STS-135, aboard the shuttle Atlantis in 2011. Atlantis was viewed by huge crowds – an estimated one million spectators. Due to global circumstances, DM-2 had a much more virtual crowd, yet massively outdid Atlantis with over ten million viewers.

DM-2, as viewed from the ISS. Credit: Roscosmos/Ivan Vagner

In the current transfer phase of the mission, there are five burns that must be done over the course of 19 hours. The first burn, a phase correction burn, was completed about 20 minutes ago. There are four more burns remaining.

Right now, Dragon is entering a manual-control phase where astronauts Bob and Doug test the manual controls in a far-field pointing maneuver. We will update as the launch progresses.

Go Crew Dragon, Go Bob and Doug, and Go Commercial Crew!

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