NASA and SpaceX completed a series of reviews ahead of the mission, which is set to liftoff from launchpad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:49 a.m. EDT on Friday. The launch marks SpaceX’s third crew launch in the past 12 months, and the first time it is launching both a reused rocket and a reused capsule.
“It’s super cool to have the opportunity to do this so quickly. In fact … we’ll in less than a year have flown as many people in this partnership with NASA as were flown in the Mercury program,” SpaceX senior director Benji Reed said during a press briefing earlier this week.
Mercury, begun in 1958, was the first U.S. human spaceflight program and included launching Alan Shepard as the first American in space. The Mercury program flew six people to space across five years, a total which SpaceX matched with its Demo-2 and Crew-1 missions last year