Wednesday, SpaceX and NASA will get their latest mission off the ground. Around 12:00 p.m. Eastern time, the Crew-5 mission will launch toward the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Topped aboard one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets, four astronauts will be included in the launch: two NASA astronauts in Nicole Mann and John Cassada, JAXA's (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Koichi Wakata, and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina.
The group is expected to dock at the ISS over a day after traveling through space, where they'll remain for the better part of the next six months. Once they get settled in at the space-faring observatory, those members of Crew-4 currently aboard will return to Earth. As with most NASA launches, the vast majority of the mission—including prelaunch, launch, and docking—will be livestreamed on NASA TV, which you can stream below.
NASA confirmed the launch Tuesday afternoon, saying weather patterns were favorable to meet Wednesday's scheduled launch. As it stands now, Crew-5 is expected to dock at the spaced station around 4:57 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, October 5th.
"Throughout the day, mission teams reviewed the status of the Falcon 9 recovery ship, called Just Read the Instructions, which is ready to support booster recovery," NASA said in Tuesday's blog post confirming the launch. "SpaceX teams also successfully replaced a thrust vector control actuator on one of nine Merlin first stage engines and fixed a small leak in the portable fire extinguisher system inside Dragon. Both changes were found in the process of final prelaunch verification checkouts and ensure we have the best systems in place to support a crew launch."
While the Falcon 9 rockets are most known for being SpaceX's cutting-edge reusable staple, Crew-5 will launch on a brand-new, never-used rocket. Coverage of the launch will begin on NASA TV beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern before the launch and will continue through the launch into a postlaunch conference featuring NASA and SpaceX officials around 1:30 p.m. Eastern Wednesday afternoon.