The four astronauts set to fly aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule on its first operational flight have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center ahead of the historic launch this coming weekend.
NASA livestreamed the crew’s arrival aboard a jet on Sunday, November 8, with American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, together with Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, each making a short speech before taking questions from members of the news media.
All being well, the crew will launch from Kennedy Space Center aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:49 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 14.
The six-month Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) marks the first operational flight for the Crew Dragon spacecraft following a successful test mission over the summer with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.
Referring to NASA’s renewed ability to launch and land space crews domestically for the first time since the ending of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins told reporters that he and his fellow astronauts were “truly honored” to be “starting this new era where we’re going to rotate crews to the International Space Station from American soil with our commercial partners, like SpaceX.”
Flight experience among the Crew-1 astronauts couldn’t be more varied, with Noguchi having already been to space aboard the Space Shuttle and Russian Soyuz capsule, and Glover embarking on his first-ever trip to space.
The four astronauts will join NASA’s Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov aboard the ISS, which this month is celebrating 20 years of continuous human presence. You can learn more about daily life on the space station via videos made by past astronauts during their time on the orbiting outpost 250 miles above Earth.
Digital Trends has everything you need to know for watching the Crew-1 launch as it happens on Saturday.