UPDATED 9:03 AM PT – Saturday, November 14, 2020
NASA and aerospace company SpaceX are preparing to blast off into space this weekend with a historic launch, marking SpaceX’s first fully operational spaceflight with a full crew.
The launch will take place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending three Americans and one Japanese astronaut to the International Space Station.
“The first time we go with a crew of four to the International Space Station on a commercial crew vehicle, it’s the first time we go with one of our international partners, Japan, and it’s the first time we go as a commercial vehicle licensed with humans into orbit, licensed by the FAA,” announced NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Tomorrow, four astronauts will head to the @Space_Station for a six-month science mission in the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Tune in:
— NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) November 14, 2020
Originally, the Crew-1 mission intended to start their journey on Saturday, but the launch has been pushed back to Sunday due to weather interference caused by Tropical Storm Eta.
This mission will mark the first time the U.S. has used its own technology to send its astronauts into space after retiring the Space Shuttle program back in 2011.
Officials said the success of the Crew-1 mission will set a precedent for space travel and future missions, opening up a gateway to the final frontier.
‘We’re thinking about programs that last, not just decades, but even a generation,” Bridenstine continued. “I would like to see a day when my children are my age and we have people living and working on the Moon, and, in fact, on Mars.”
If all goes as planned, officials in the Sunshine State estimate roughly 250,000 observers will be in attendance in order to witness the rocket blast off into space.