Where will Elon Musk be when his company SpaceX launches astronauts to space for the first time in history on Wednesday? Elon biographer and Businessweek reporter Ashlee Vance has published a pre-launch interview with the SpaceX founder that answers that question and more.
SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, May 27, at 4:33 p.m. EDT to send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station.
The demonstration space flight will mark SpaceX’s first launch in history that includes crew. SpaceX has spent years mastering the art of rocket launching with contracts to send cargo to the space station, but never astronauts before the Demo-2 mission.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk won’t be space-bound yet, however, but he will have his feet planted safely on Earth alongside the NASA and SpaceX teams at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
When the launch does take place, Musk will head to Cape Canaveral and sit with the SpaceX and NASA teams as they do their final engineering reviews. If the weather cooperates and all the technology performs as designed, two humans will safely exit the pandemic and head for the stars. “Assuming it’s successful—I don’t want to seem presumptuous—then it will be an incredible moment for humanity,” Musk says. “I think it’s something that everyone should be able to celebrate.” As in parties? In person? Seriously? “I think we can have parties,” he says. “Yeah, we’ll be fine.”
Years of extensive work have gone into making the Demo-2 mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew program possible. The mission will mark the return of human spaceflight to America for the first time since 2011.
Elon says “probably 10,000 tests of one kind or another that have taken place” with possibly as many meetings before the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon take off on Wednesday. If the launch is scrubbed for any reason including weather conditions, NASA and SpaceX will target a similar launch window on Saturday.