Returning Human Spaceflight to the United States

SpaceX is targeting Saturday, May 30 for Falcon 9’s launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft will return human spaceflight to the United States.

The instantaneous launch window opens at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC, with a backup instantaneous launch opportunity available on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, or 19:00 UTC. Tune in here to watch the launch webcast. Coverage will begin about 4 hours before liftoff.

Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.


Min/Sec Event
- 45:00 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load
- 42:00 Crew access arm retracts
- 37:00 Dragon’s launch escape system is armed
- 35:00 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins
- 35:00 1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
- 16:00 2nd stage LOX loading begins
- 07:00 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
- 05:00 Dragon transitions to internal power
- 01:00 Command flight to begin final prelaunch checks
- 01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
- 00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
- 00:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
- 00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff

Launch, Landing and Dragon Deployment

All Times Are Approximate

Min/Sec Event
00:00:58 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
00:02:33 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
00:02:36 1st and 2nd stages separate
00:02:44 2nd stage engine starts
00:07:15 1st stage entry burn
00:08:47 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
00:08:52 1st stage landing burn
00:09:22 1st stage landing
00:12:00 Dragon separates from 2nd stage
00:12:46 Dragon nosecone open sequence begins



In preparation for Demo-2, SpaceX has completed a number of major milestones for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. In March 2019, SpaceX completed Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to and from the International Space Station—an end-to-end test flight of Crew Dragon without NASA astronauts onboard—making Dragon the first American spacecraft to autonomously dock with the International Space Station and safely return to Earth.


Launch Escape Demonstration

In January, SpaceX successfully completed an in-flight test of Crew Dragon’s launch escape capabilities. This test, which did not have NASA astronauts onboard the spacecraft, demonstrated Crew Dragon’s ability to reliably carry crew to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on ascent.

Dragon safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and teams successfully recovered the spacecraft onto SpaceX’s recovery vessel.