Updated May 30 at 8 a.m. EDT.
After a delay due to bad weather, SpaceX's historic first astronaut launch for NASA is now set to liftoff today (May 30) and when it comes to watching the event live, to say "you have options" is an understatement. You'll be able to watch the launch live online (of course) as well as on TV, cable, satellite and pretty much every streaming app around.
The mission, called Demo-2, will launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into orbit on a Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Liftoff is set for 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. There is a 50-50 chance of good weather at launch time.
You'll be able to watch the SpaceX launch live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of NASA TV, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). But NASA's webcast won't be the only game in town.
While the major news networks are sure to host their own special reports, read on for a guide at key webcasts and TV programming to get the most out of your SpaceX launch viewing. (We've bolded the dates and times.)
Full coverage: SpaceX's historic Demo-2 astronaut launch explained
NASA's webcast of the SpaceX launch will begin Saturday, May 30, at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), when the space agency will begin broadcasting live views of Crew Dragon and its Falcon 9 rocket atop Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA will offer continuous coverage that will run through the Demo-2 mission's arrival at the International Space Station on Sunday, May 31. Docking is set for 10:29 a.m. EDT (1429 GMT) Sunday.
You'll be able to watch the broadcast on NASA's website here, as well as on the NASA TV channel if your cable or satellite provider carries it. NASA will stream coverage of the launch online via YouTube, Twitter and other social media channels, and is holding a virtual #launchAmerica event with video tours and other features for the public to watch.
Here's a full list of the NASA streams available:
- NASA Live
- NASA's YouTube channel
- NASA App for iOS
- NASA App for Android
- Pluto TV
- DISH Network
- Google Fiber
- NASA TV on Satellite Galaxy 13
And here's a schedule for NASA's webcast:
Friday, May 29 (all times in EDT, GMT-4)
- 10 a.m. – NASA's SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 Administrator briefing
- 11 a.m. - SpaceCast Weekly
Sunday, May 27
- 11 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins (continues through docking)
- 3:22 p.m. – Liftoff
- 4:09 p.m. – Crew Dragon phase burn
- 4:55 p.m. – Far-field manual flight test
- TBD p.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
- 6:30 p.m. – Postlaunch news conference at Kennedy
Sunday, May 31
- TBD a.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
- 10:29 a.m. – Docking
- 12:45 p.m. – Hatch Open
- 1:05 p.m. – Welcome ceremony
- 3:15 p.m. – Post-arrival news conference at Johnson
Monday, June 1
- 11:15 a.m. – ISS Expedition 63 Crew News Conference with Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineers Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley of NASA
- 12:55 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63 In-Flight Event with SpaceX Officials and Employees in Hawthorne, California
Tuesday, June 1
- 9:20 a.m. – SpaceX employee event and Class of 2020 Mosaic presentation, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley
Friday, May 29
- 11:05 a.m. – Space Station crew news conference, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley
- 12:50 p.m. – SpaceX employee event and Class of 2020 Mosaic presentation, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley
SpaceX will host its own dedicated webcast, which will likely begin at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).as the company did on Wednesday during its first launch try.
SpaceX will also provide a separate audio loop webcast from its Launch Control Center. You can listen to that below.
'Launch America: Mission to Space Live' National Geographic & ABC News
ABC News and the National Geographic Channel have teamed up for two days of coverage for SpaceX's Demo-2 launch in what they've billed as "Launch America: Mission to Space Live."
The action begins on launch day at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) with a live, two-hour broadcast of the launch by SpaceX and NASA, as well as interviews with NASA astronaut Christina Koch (who recently returned to Earth after nearly a year in space), retired astronaut Cady Coleman and others.
ABC News anchors Tom Llamas and Linsey Davis will lead the coverage from New York City, with commentary from correspondents Gio Genitez and Victor Oquendo. After Wednesday's launch, the coverage will continue on Sunday, May 31, for docking of Crew Dragon at the International Space Station.
National Geographic has assembled a photo timeline of humans in space, which you can check out here.
You'll be able to watch it live on ABC, the National Geographic Channel, as well as on Hulu, Roku, Sling TV, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube TV, Apple TV and Amazon's news app on Fire devices and Fire TV. National Geographic's simulcast will be carried on the NatGeo channel and NGTV app, as well as on demand for cable and satellite subscribers, as well as NatGeoTV.com.
Discovery Channel/Science Channel
Demo-2 launch preview from NYC's Intrepid Museum
If you can't wait until any of the Demo-2 webcasts begin, you can always check out this preview of the mission from the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.
Last week, retired NASA astronauts Garrett Reisman (a SpaceX consultant) and Mike Massimino discussed Demo-2 during a "Virtual Astronomy Night" for the public. The video talk runs about 90 minutes, which is just enough time to tide you over until NASA's main event begins at noon EDT.
So, there you have it: just a few of the many options for watching SpaceX make history by launching the first astronauts into orbit from Florida since 2011.
Visit Space.com for complete coverage of SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight.
Editor's note: This story was updated Thursday, May 28, to include details for the new webcasts and broadcasts for SpaceX's second launch attempt for the Demo-2 mission.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.