Discovery and Science channels are teaming up to give us a multiplatform experience looking behind the scenes at SpaceX's first-ever crewed launch next week.
The mission, called Demo-2, is scheduled to lift off Wednesday (May 27) at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Discovery and Science channels will air a live launch broadcast that day beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific), which will be hosted by Christian Davenport (journalist at The Washington Post), Chris Jacobs (television host for several past Discovery events) and ABC News correspondent David Kerley.
Demo-2 will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. Its liftoff will be the first launch of astronauts to orbit from U.S. soil since the last space shuttle mission, STS-135, launched from Florida in July 2011. Since then, NASA astronauts have relied on Soyuz spacecraft launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to reach the ISS.
Full coverage: SpaceX's historic Demo-2 astronaut flight explained
A group of NASA astronauts, past and present, will provide commentary on the special broadcast, including K. Megan McArthur (who is Behnken's wife), Mike Massimino, Karen Nyberg, Jessica Meir and (from the ISS) Chris Cassidy. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will also provide perspective.
Participating celebrities include singer-songwriter Katy Perry, television host Adam Savage of "Mythbusters" and "Tested," and former NASA engineer and current YouTuber Mark Rober. More celebrities will be announced at a later date.
Space fans can also catch a two-hour documentary about the mission, "NASA & SpaceX: Journey to the Future," which will air Monday (May 25) at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Science Channel and Tuesday (May 26) at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Discovery. The documentary features a behind-the-scenes look at NASA and at SpaceX headquarters, including interviews with Musk, Bridenstine, Behnken and Hurley.
For both events, viewers can watch using the Discovery Go app, or follow along by using the hashtag #SpaceLaunchLIVE on Discovery's or Science's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
"Discovery and Science Channel have spent over a year documenting SpaceX's race to become the first private company to launch American astronauts into space," said Scott Lewers, Science's executive vice president of multiplatform programming, factual and head of content.
"Our live special offers both incredible access for the launch, and expert insight from SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk and other leading aerospace professionals," he added. "In our two-hour documentary, we show the unbelievable engineering and scientific feats achieved by SpaceX in making such an historic launch happen."
Space fans can also watch the Demo-2 launch live on NASA Television, and here at Space.com.
- SpaceX's Crew Dragon space capsule explained (infographic)
- In photos: SpaceX's historic Demo-2 test flight with astronauts
- See the evolution of SpaceX's rockets in pictures
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace