On Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 p.m. EDT, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the next day Crew Dragon autonomously docked to the International Space Station (ISS). This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft returned human spaceflight to the United States.
Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the ISS. SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Upon conclusion of the mission, Crew Dragon will autonomously undock with the two astronauts onboard the spacecraft and depart the Space Station. After jettisoning the trunk and conducting its deorbit burn, which lasts approximately 12 minutes, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere.
Upon splashdown just off Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Dragon and the astronauts will be quickly recovered by SpaceX’s Go Navigator recovery vessel and returned to Cape Canaveral.