FLORIDA (CBSDFW.COM) – An out of this world event like the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, needs a big star to kick it off, and who better than Burleson, Texas native Kelly Clarkson?
The Grammy Award-winning singer will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the launch of the first manned space mission from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program was retired nearly a decade ago.
NASA will provide live coverage of prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight on Wednesday, May 27, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch 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.
It’s 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. SpaceX currently is readying the hardware for the first space station crew rotational mission, which would happen after data from this test flight is reviewed for certification.
The test flight is a pivotal point in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil to the space station for the first time since 2011.
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.