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SpaceX Falcon 9 to make history: 2 astronauts join International Space Station and Crew Dragon spacecraft could be visible over the UK shortly after take off




History could be made at 9.33pm UK time tonight, Wednesday, May 27, when SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, carrying two astronauts inside a new Crew Dragon Spacecraft to join the International Space Station.

It will be the first crewed orbital flight from US soil since 2011 and it is the first time ever in a privately-owned spacecraft, which has been designed and manufactured by Elon Musk-founded SpaceX. The pair will also be conveyed to the launch pad on Tesla-manufactured electric cars.

Donald Trump will be among the spectators at Kennedy space centre in Florida to witness the launch, which has been allowed to go ahead despite the coronavirus lockdown.

SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida (35368115)
SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida (35368115)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is due to take off from launchpad 39A – the same one the Apollo astronauts used to get to the moon – with the Crew Dragon space capsule on top of it. On board will be Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, both veterans of space flight.

You can watch the launch live here:

If all goes according to plan, you could spot Crew Dragon as it flies over the UK about 15-25 minutes after launch - at approximately 9.50pm-10pm. It will come over from the west, heading east, and could be visible for just a few minutes.

You may also be able to see Crew Dragon on subsequent orbits on the same evening as it heads towards the ISS.

And if you hang around outside you can admire the wonderful waxing crescent Moon, before ISS passes over the UK - west to east - at 10.57pm.

Times can be subject to change, but we will post any updates as we get them.


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