KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fl – The countdown continues Friday morning in Florida ahead of what could be a historic launch. After a successful test flight earlier in the year, NASA begins what it expects to be a regular, continuous commute to the I.S.S. on Saturday.
This time, it’s in a spaceship created by someone else. A string of delays, thanks to weather earlier in the week, now has SpaceX Falcon 9 rushing to launch and to history.
It’s the first-ever operational mission for the rocket as part of NASA’s commercial crew program. It’s a “charter flight” to the I.S.S. with three U.S. astronauts and a fourth from Japan’s Space Agency.
Michael Hopkins, Crew Dragon Commander, says, “As a crew we are ready. We are ready for this launch. We are ready for the six months of work that’s waiting for us onboard the International Space Station.”
It’s the first time a NASA mission will include four astronauts inside a capsule, which the crew has named “Resilience.” The name is a nod to the challenges of 2020. It also marks a return of rotational flights from U.S. soil in a U.S.-build spacecraft.
The launch is scheduled to take place Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7:49 p.m. from the Kennedy Space Center. You can watch the live stream here.