SpaceX and NASA have successfully launched Falcon 9 of Dragon’s second six-month operational crew mission (Crew-2) to the International Space Station (ISS) from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the first human spaceflight mission to fly astronauts on a flight-proven Falcon 9 and Dragon. The Falcon 9 first stage supporting this mission previously launched the Crew-1 mission in November 2020, and the Dragon spacecraft previously flew Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to and from the International Space Station during SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission in 2020.
As part of the Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet flew aboard the Dragon spacecraft during the Crew-2 mission. On Saturday, April 24, at approximately 5:10 a.m. EDT, 9:10 UTC, Dragon will autonomously dock with the International Space Station. This will be the first time Dragon will fly two international partners and it will also be the first time two Crew Dragons are attached simultaneously to the orbiting laboratory.
After an approximate six-month stay, Dragon and the Crew-2 astronauts will depart from the space station no earlier than October 31 for return to Earth and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
Click here to view the Crew-2 mission launch.