Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft reach launchpad for milestone SpaceX mission

The days are counting down to when SpaceX will launch NASA astronauts to space for the first time in history. With under a week until the historic NASA Demo-2 mission kicks off, both the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft have arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first humans to ride aboard SpaceX’s hardware on their way to the International Space Station.

The mission is a critical test flight as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program to rely on private partners to send astronauts to the space station. NASA has relied on leasing expensive seats from Russian Soyuz rockets since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

Assuming conditions are a GO for launch 4:33 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 27, former shuttle astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be launched from Launch Complex 39A before joining Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy on the International Space Station for an undetermined duration.

NASA posted shots of the Crew Dragon spacecraft arriving at Launch Complex 39A from Friday night:

SpaceX shared these shots of Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 in the hangar at Launch Complex 39A on Wednesday:

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley flew from Johnson Space Center in Houston to Kennedy Space Center in Florida the same day before entering the next phase of their routine quarantine before liftoff:

Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon was finally positioned in place at its launchpad on Thursday with liftoff less than one week away:

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