SpaceX launch: liftoff time, live stream, and NASA astronauts
The SpaceX launch is go for liftoff, with weather conditions seeming favorable. The official launch time, 4:33pm EDT (that's 9:33pm BST for everyone in the UK), is just under an hour from now, and we have the launch live stream video embedded below.
Today's historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission is happening at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It's the first such launch on American soil in nearly a decade – since NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011. It's also the first time that a SpaceX reusable spacecraft will be sending NASA astronauts into space.
The destination of this SpaceX launch? The International Space Station (ISS) for a one- to four-month duration for NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, according to our friends over at Space.com.
We, of course, have more questions answered. What time is the SpaceX launch live streaming starting in your region of the world? What's happened so far that you've missed? And who are the lucky astronauts? We have all of that information below.
SpaceX launch time
The official Demo-2 SpaceX launch time is 4:33pm EDT. Across the continental US, you'll be able to see it at 3:33pm CDT / 2:33pm MDT / 1:33pm PDT. You may want to show up a couple of minutes ahead of time to take in the rocket while grounded.
The UK SpaceX launch time will be 21:33 BST. In addition to tuning into the video live stream, you should go outside and see if you can catch a glimpse of the SpaceX-built spacecraft in the sky at 21:50 BST.
In Australia, it'll already be Thursday, with the launch time occurring at 6:33am ACT. If today's mission happens to be scrapped for any reason (weather was and still is a concern for this countdown), then the next possible day for a launch is Saturday.
How to watch the SpaceX launch
Live YouTube video is already up-and-running ahead of the launch time, with both the official NASA and SpaceX accounts offering a live stream of the preparations. You don't have to tune into both – they're offering the same content.
You can start watching the SpaceX launch here:
In fact, we just saw SpaceX founder Elon Musk visit suited up astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, exchanging a few words before liftoff time. Musk then went to greet US Vice President Mike Pence, who is there to watch the launch (President Donald Trump is also expected), while Hurley and Behnken traveled to the launch site in a Tesla Model X (Tesla being another company Musk founded).
SpaceX spacecraft, SpaceX suits and NASA astronauts
Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are inside the Dragon capsule, which sits atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It's situated on a launch pad at legendary Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida’s Cape Canaveral. LC-39A was originally built for the Apollo missions and remodeled for the Space Shuttle program.
Hurley (the spacecraft commander) and Behnken (the joint operations commander) are NASA astronauts, engineers and both former members of US military (Hurley is a former marine, while Behnken was in the US Air Force).
The two-man NASA crew is not only flying in a SpaceX-built craft, but also outfitted in SpaceX pressurized suits, first shown off in 2017.
Developing with live updates…