Crew-2 Launch, A Rocket Launch Spectacle

Space Coast, FL – The Crew-2 launch consisted of R. Shane Kimbrough (NASA), Megan McArthur (NASA), Thomas Pesquet (ESA) and Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA). The four astronauts lifted off early this morning, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster (B1061-2) aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, Endeavour. Their destination, the International Space Station (ISS).

Falcon 9 B1061.2 lifts off with Crew Dragon Endeavour's four astronauts
Falcon 9 B1061.2 lifts off with Crew Dragon Endeavour's four astronauts | Photo: Crystal Gabriel

Crew-2 Launch in the morning hours

The launch happened at 0549 EDT (0949 UTC) in the ever so early morning. As the launch was so close to sunrise, the first and second stage put on an out-of-this-world display. The first stage of the Falcon 9 uses a set of nitrogen cold gas thrusters to perform its flip after separation, and you can see them repeatedly firing only at these launch times. The effects are boosted by the Sun, just below the horizon. You see the thrusters firing in SpaceX rocket cam video feeds. But not like how we see them as from this morning.

A spectacle of stage separation puts on a show (1st Stage top, 2nd stage bottom)
A spectacle of stage separation puts on a show (1st Stage top, 2nd stage bottom) | Photo: Jon Van Horne

SpaceX Reuse

The Falcon 9 rocket booster successfully landed on ASDS Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean. This marked it's second successful launch and landing, both time while lifting humans to the ISS.

Launch streak photo of Crew-2 launch trajectory
Launch streak photo of Crew-2 launch trajectory | Photo: Jon Van Horne

The Crew Dragon Endeavour used was also a second time reuse. It's first launch was the Demonstration Mission-1 (DM-1) with Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

FUN FACT: Bob Behnken and Megan McArthur both sat in the same seat, they are a married couple.

You may visit our dedicated Crew-2 Launch page for details of the launch, who is on board and some science and research that is also on board. The docking to the ISS will occur tomorrow morning at ~0514 EDT (0914 UTC). Visit our Live Stream page to watch.

Like our content/updates? Give us a follow on our social media channels and/or you can also support us by making a donation so we can get more coffee.

Photo Gallery