Reader Jon called my attention to a SpaceX launch today at 10 a.m. EST (it was originally scheduled for 9 a.m.), or exactly
one two hours after this post goes up at 7 a.m. Chicago time. I’ll let Jon give the details and sites where you can watch it (his words are indented):
Today SpaceX will attempt the final, major test before astronauts fly aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
For this test, Crew Dragon will intentionally trigger a launch escape at about 1 min. 30 seconds into flight to demonstrate Crew Dragon’s capability to safely separate from the Falcon 9 rocket in the unlikely event of an in-flight emergency.
You can watch live coverage here starting 20 minutes before the six-hour launch window opens at 9:00 a.m. ET. Teams are currently targeting a T-0 of 9:00 a.m. ET, one hour into the six-hour test window. However, the exact launch time will depend on weather conditions at both Cape Canaveral Florida and downrange at the recovery site in the Atlantic. There may be fireworks.
Click on screenshot to watch live:
Shortly after separation, the Falcon 9 booster is expected to aerodynamically break up or explode offshore over the Atlantic. Here’s an animation of the inflight abort test. If successful, SpaceX should be certified by NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station sometime later this year.
I’ve put the animation below.
There’s a six-hour launch window, and the flight may be scrubbed today. In that case, it’s rescheduled for tomorrow at the same time.