Crew Dragon – Demo-2.
During the Coronavirus lockdown many of the UK public have been looking up each evening to see Meteors, Satellites, Planets, The International Space Station and more. Many have acquired a new found love of the night sky.
If you have been joining in or even just started looking up, you are in for an amazing treat!
On 27 May 2020 at 21:33 UK time (20:33 GMT) A SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket will blast off from Cape Canaveral Florida.
The mighty rocket will be carrying two Astronauts to the International Space Station inside a new Crew Dragon Spacecraft. This is the first ever commercial launch of Astronauts into space by a private company, SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2.
You can watch the launch live below. After lift off, you may be able to see the Crew Dragon spacecraft around 15 minutes later passing over the United Kingdom. An unmissable and historic sight!
The launch is planned for 21:33 UK time. This may change, so stay up to date on launch timings with @VirtualAstro on twitter and Facebook. @VirtualAstro will also post up to the minute alerts on spotting the Spacecraft as it passes over the UK and Western Europe.
Watch SpaceX Falcon 9 Carrying Crew Dragon Launch – Then Watch the Spacecraft fly over the UK!
If all goes to plan, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon on top and the Astronauts inside will launch safely on time.
The Spacecraft is carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. This will be the first historic commercial flight to the International Space Station since the Space Shuttle was retired. We should therefore see the Crew Dragon Spacecraft flying over the UK around 15 minutes after lift off.
As well as flying to the Space Station on board the latest in commercial spacecraft the two astronauts will also be wearing hi-tech SpaceX space suits.
How to See the Crew Dragon Spacecraft as it passes over the UK.
You will only need your eyes and to know when and what direction to look in. If the launch is on time, Crew Dragon Demo-2 should be visible around 21:45 UK time give or take a couple of minutes.
The craft will pass over the UK from a westerly direction and will head east. It may be visible lower in the southern part of the sky as it flies past.
What will we see?
As the Spacecraft passes over the UK we may see just the one or a collection of objects looking like bright stars moving across the sky. The sky will be fairly light for some especially for observers in places in the north such as Scotland. The craft should be bright enough to follow once you catch a glimpse of it.
You may also be able to see Crew Dragon Demo-2 on subsequent orbits on the same evening as it speeds toward the International Space Station for it’s rendezvous.