DM-2 (Falcon 9)
30 May 2020
Space Launch Complex 39A
Kennedy Space Center
Page One of Two
I missed the historic return of crewed spaceflight to the United States achieved by NASA and SpaceX with the DM-2 mission carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station. Deterred by the bad weather forecast and a bit of laziness brought on by the weekend, I decided to stay close to home in the chance of the launch being postponed but leaving open the option of getting some long distance shots. Sadly, neither came to pass as the rocket lifted off on-time, my hopes of getting long distance photos faded with the massive storm cell passing through that blocked any chance of my seeing the launch. I am very disappointed.

SpaceX & NASA launched Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 p.m. on 30 May 2020. This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft carried aloft by a Falcon 9 rocket that will return human spaceflight to the United States.

This is SpaceX’s final flight test, which will validate all aspects of its crew transportation system, including its spacecraft (Crew Dragon), launch vehicle (Falcon 9), launch pad (LC-39A), and operations capabilities.

On this mission, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will don SpaceX’s spacesuits, be transported to the launch pad, and board SpaceX’s next-generation spacecraft. Once Crew Dragon’s hatch is closed, its launch escape system will be armed, which will prepare the spacecraft to separate from the launch vehicle in the unlikely event of anomaly on the pad or during ascent.

Launch and ascent will be consistent with SpaceX’s Cargo Resupply Services Dragon missions’ trajectories and staging events, with the notable exception that astronauts will be onboard. Once in orbit, the crew and SpaceX mission control will verify the vehicle is performing as intended by testing the environmental control system, the displays and control system, and the maneuvering thrusters, among other things. In about 24 hours, Crew Dragon will be in position to rendezvous and dock with the space station. Crew Dragon is designed to dock autonomously, but crew onboard the spacecraft and the Space Station will diligently monitor the performance of the spacecraft as it approaches and docks.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage DM-2 booster returned to Port Canaveral on 2 June 2020 aboard the Of Course I Still Love You droneship.
All contents copyright Lunar Cabin