A satellite deployed by a space technology company based in the U.S. was able to photograph SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket stationed on a launch pad in Florida. The photos were taken as SpaceX was carrying out preparations for an upcoming launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.
The images taken from space were captured by the orbiting WorldView-3 satellite of Maxar Technologies, a space tech company based in Colorado. The company's satellite took the photos on May 23.
Satellite Image Of Falcon 9
The photos were taken during a dress rehearsal event in preparation for the launch. The satellite images show the Falcon 9 rocket stationed on Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Space.com reported.
During the event, SpaceX and NASA personnel conducted dry-run procedures related to the rocket. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley also attended the event while wearing their SpaceX spacesuits. Hurley and Behnken entered the launch pad while riding inside the Tesla Model X SUV and climbed aboard the Crew Dragon capsule, the spacecraft that will transport them to the ISS.
The launch of the mission is scheduled to take place on May 27 at around 4:30 p.m. EDT. Dubbed as the Demo-2 mission, it will mark the first time astronauts will be launched into space from U.S. soil in about a decade. Also, Demo-2 will serve as SpaceX's first human space flight via the Crew Dragon capsule. It will be carried out as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
As noted by the agency, the upcoming mission will determine SpaceX's ability to provide commercial spaceflight services. "As the final flight test for SpaceX, this mission will validate the company's crew transportation system, including the launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, and operational capabilities," NASA explained in a statement. "This also will be the first time NASA astronauts will test the spacecraft systems in orbit.
The goal of the mission is to transport Hurley and Behnken to the ISS. Upon reaching the station, the Crew Dragon capsule will dock at the ISS where the two astronauts will stay for a yet-to-be-determined period of time.
While aboard the station, Hurley and Behnken will join the Expedition 63 crew of the ISS. As part of the crew, the astronauts will conduct various tests and experiments on the orbiting station.