Skip to main content

How to watch NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 astronaut launch events this week

SpaceX's next Crew Dragon launch for NASA is set for the spooky date of Halloween (Oct. 31) to ferry four new astronauts to the International Space Station and you can follow the mission's countdown and launch live online. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the mission, called Crew-3, no earlier than 2:21 a.m. EDT (0621 GMT) in the wee hours of Halloween Sunday from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts are expected to dock with the space station Monday (Nov. 1) at 12:10 a.m. EDT (0410 GMT).

All of these events are subject to change for weather or technical reasons. But you'll be able to watch them all here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV and SpaceX. When the launch and docking takes place, it should also air on NASA Television, the NASA app, the agency's website, YouTube and social media channels. We'll also run the launch broadcast live here at Space.com. 

Live updates: Follow SpaceX's Crew-3 astronaut launch for NASA 

The Crew-3 flight will launch NASA astronauts Raja Chari (mission commander), Tom Marshburn (pilot) and Kayla Barron (mission specialist) as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer. They are expected to remain in orbit for six months. Marshburn is a veteran astronaut who has flown twice to the space station. The other three astronauts are all rookies on their first spaceflight.

You can "attend" the launch virtually by registering here with NASA, or join a Facebook event. NASA also has a new Virtual Launch Passport available for download and printing, and will release a virtual guest stamp for the event. You can register for that on Eventbrite. If you're a teacher, you can find a series of student and family activities from NASA here.

Below is a schedule of launch events NASA will broadcast provided from this NASA statement.

The astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission pose for a portrait in their spacesuits during a training session. From left are: NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Thomas Marshburn, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Monday, Oct. 25

7 p.m. EDT / 2300 GMT (approximately) – Flight Readiness Review (FRR) Media Teleconference at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, no earlier than one hour after completion of the FRR. The participants include:

  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters; 
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy; Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center; 
  • Holly Ridings, chief flight director, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson; William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX; 
  • Frank de Winne, program manager, International Space Station, ESA; 
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station, JAXA.

Tuesday, Oct. 26

1:30 p.m. EDT / 1750 GMT (approximately) – Crew arrival media event at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. 

  • Bob Cabana, NASA associate administrator; 
  • Janet Petro, director, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center; 
  • Frank de Winne, program manager, International Space Station, ESA; 
  • NASA astronaut Raja Chari; NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn; 
  • NASA astronaut Kayla Barron; 
  • ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer.

Wednesday, Oct. 27

8 a.m. EDT / 1200 GMT – Virtual crew media engagement at NASA's Kennedy Space Center with the Crew-3 astronauts:

  • NASA astronaut Raja Chari; 
  • NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn; 
  • NASA astronaut Kayla Barron; 
  • ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer.

Thursday, Oct. 28

1 p.m. EDT / 1700 GMT – Science media teleconference to discuss investigations the Crew-3 crew will support during their experiments. Here is the list of expected participants and the NASA descriptions concerning what they will discuss.

  • David Brady, associate program scientist for the International Space Station Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center. He will provide an introduction to the research and technology aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft.; 
  • Dr. Yun-Xing Wang, senior investigator in the Structural Biophysics Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Jason R. Stagno, staff scientist in the Structural Biophysics Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute. Wang and Stagno will discuss the Uniform Protein Crystal Growth experiment that aims to grow near perfect microcrystals in microgravity, which will be immediately analyzed by a powerful atomic imager on their return to Earth alongside the Crew-2 stronauts; 
  • Dr. Grace Douglas, lead scientist for NASA’s Advanced Food Technology research effort, who will discuss the Food Physiology experiment. This investigation studies the impacts of an enhanced spaceflight diet on astronaut health; 
  • Dr. Hector Guiterrez, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology, who will discuss the Smartphone Video Guidance Sensor (SVGS) that will test a set of LED beacons with which the Astrobee free-flying robots will interact during formation flight maneuvers; 
  • A representative (yet to be named) from the Standard Measures investigation, which collects a set of core measurements related to many human spaceflight risks from astronauts before, during, and after long-duration missions.

Friday, Oct. 29

12 p.m. EDT / 1600 GMT – NASA administrator media briefing on NASA TV with the following participants:

  • Bill Nelson, NASA administrator;
  • Pam Melroy, NASA deputy administrator;
  • Bob Cabana, NASA associate administrator;
  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters;
  • Janet Petro, director, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center;
  • Woody Hoburg, NASA astronaut.

10 p.m. EDT / 0200 GMT Saturday, Oct. 30  – Prelaunch News conference at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (timing may change, as it is set for no earlier than one hour after completion of the launch readiness review) with the following participants:

  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA's Kennedy Space Center;
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, NASA's Johnson Space Center;
  • Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist, International Space Station Program, Johnson;
  • Holly Ridings, chief flight director, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson;
  • Sarah Walker, director, Dragon Mission Management, SpaceX;
  • Josef Aschbacher, director general, ESA;
  • William Ulrich, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, United States Space Force.

Saturday, Oct. 30

10 p.m. EDT / 1400 GMT – NASA Television launch coverage begins of the launch.

Sunday, Oct. 31

2:21 a.m. EDT / 0621 GMT – Launch. The broadcast on NASA will continue through the docking, arrival and welcome ceremony. There will be no postlaunch news conference, but NASA leadership (names have not yet been released) will participate in the live broadcast.

Monday, Nov. 1

12:10 a.m. EDT / 0410 GMT – Docking

1:50 a.m. EDT / 0550 GMT – Hatch opening

2:20 a.m. / 0620 GMT – Welcoming ceremony

Space.com will provide complete coverage of SpaceX's Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station. Check out our live updates page for more mission details throughout the week.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.