The launch of first commercially-built and operated American rocket and space carft

3,2,1 0, -1 and as the countdown clicks in Falcon 9 rocket does launch full power into space, today is May 30th at 3.22 p.m a date and time always to rememeb as the first commercially-built and operated American rocket and spacecraft carrying astronauts to the space station. 

#launchamerica lift off sequence video. Credits to nasa and spacex

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft has been launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11:39 a.m. Thursday, May 28.

Astronaut Behnken Operation cammander and Astronaut Hurley Space draft Commander. Flight crew before lift off.The #LaunchAmerica crew is arming the launch escape system, which gives the crew the ability to safely escape from the time of launch all the way to orbit.

Behnken will be the joint operations commander for the Demo-2 mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous, docking and undocking, as well as Demo-2 activities while the spacecraft is docked to the space station. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2000, Behnken completed two space shuttle flights. He flew on STS-123 in March 2008 and STS-130 in February 2010 and conducted three spacewalks during each mission. Born in St. Anne, Missouri, he has bachelor’s degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and earned a master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Before joining NASA, Behnken was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force.

Hurley will be the spacecraft commander for Demo-2, responsible for activities such as launch, landing and recovery. Selected as an astronaut in 2000, Hurley has completed two spaceflights. He served as pilot and lead robotics operator for both STS‐127 in July 2009 and STS‐135, the final space shuttle mission, in July 2011. The New York native was born in Endicott, but considers Apalachin his hometown. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Tulane University in Louisiana and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. Before joining NASA, he was a fighter pilot and test pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps.

SpaceX’s final test flight for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and will provide critical data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, and landing operations. 

The test flight also will provide valuable data toward certification of SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station.

The goal of the Commercial Crew Program is to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station. This could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration, including preparation for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.