This Saturday, May 19, at 4:55 a.m. EDT, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the first private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA Television will begin coverage and commentary at 3:30 a.m.
SpaceX will attempt to meet multiple objectives on this mission, including launching their Dragon Capsule into space via their Falcon 9 rockets, having the Dragon Capsule perform a list of maneuvers once in space, and docking with the International Space Station. Once docked with the ISS, astronauts can access supplies within the Dragon Capsule. None of these supplies are vital to life on the ISS, and if the mission is aborted, no harm will come from not receiving them.
If for some reason the launch does not take place, the next opportunity to launch will be Tuesday at 3:40 a.m.
Hopefully, the launch will take place on time. Although SpaceX has delayed this launch multiple times already, this should serve as a sign that the company is unwaveringly committed to a completely successful mission, as they have delayed making history to ensure success.
Assuming that the launch is successful, SpaceX is prepared to tackle even greater challenges in the future. Eventually, the company plans to send astronauts to the ISS, a feat that will require much more preparation. SpaceX also announced they have partnered with Bigelow Airspace to provide space experiences to tourists. SpaceX will focus on getting people into space, where they will board Bigelow’s space habitat.
Be sure to check out PolicyMic's live blog on launch day for more coverage.