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 was set to blast off from Cape Canaveral Florida. Unfortunately, bad weather just before the craft was due to blast off scrubbed the launch.
The launch is now scheduled for Saturday May 30 at 20:22 UK time (19:22 GMT).
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 on its first orbit passing over the United Kingdom. An unmissable and historic sight!
Unlike the earlier scrubbed launch on Wednesday, you won’t see the craft over the UK 15 – 20 minutes later, but you may be able to see it pass over the UK/ Europe around 22:15 UK time the same evening. Please see spotting info further down this page
The launch is planned for 20:22 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.
If the above video is experiencing problems, you can view the SpaceX feed here
Watch SpaceX Falcon 9 Carrying Crew Dragon Launch – Then Watch the Spacecraft fly over the UK the same evening!
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 the same evening.
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. Please see the charts below which should help you pinpoint the spacecraft in the sky. The pass will be very low in the sky near the horizon and will be a challenge to spot. It may be too low to be visible in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England.
This will be the only time we will be able to see the spacecraft fly over before docking the following day.
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 craft should be bright enough to follow once you catch a glimpse of it as it speeds toward the International Space Station for its rendezvous.