NASA and SpaceX are targeting September for their next launch.
The mission, dubbed Crew-1, will be SpaceX’s first operational astronaut launch.
NASA also announced in a press release that the Crew Dragon capsule will take off from Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Japanese Astronaut and mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will take part as well.
Mr. Noguchi will also be the first foreign national to launch aboard a spacecraft manufactured by SpaceX.
Crew-1 is not official yet!
The Demo-2 mission is technically a test mission, since NASA is still assessing the performance of the Crew Dragon.
Until Hurley and Behnken return safely back to Earth. The two astronauts expected to land on Sunday August 2. The Crew-1 mission will not be given the official go-ahead by the agency.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, the Crew Dragon will be certified as safe for human spaceflight, and capable of carrying crews to Low-Earth Orbit and to the ISS.
COVID-19 a potential hindrance to Crew-1
NASA also stated that it “continues to monitor the coronavirus situation, and a limited number of media will be granted access”.
The Demo-2 mission was effectively carried out when the state of Florida had a relatively low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
According to reference website worldometers, as of July 26, there have been 423,855 confirmed cases in Florida since the beginning of the pandemic.
As space enthusiasts, let’s hope that the mission will not face any delays.
Everyone please stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones from this deadly virus.