Details You Need To Know About SpaceX's First ISS Mission

The dream of commercial space travel will be a lot closer when SpaceX and NASA launch its module to the International Space Station (ISS). Originally planned for November 14 but now postponed to November 15, it will bring four astronauts to the station.

SpaceX, owned by Tesla founder Elon Musk, partnered with NASA to bring more astronauts to the ISS using SpaceX's reusable spacecraft and rocket, called the Dragon and Falcon 9. If successful, the launch can bring about commercial space travel, NASA said. Manning the ship is the SpaceX Crew-1 of Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker from NASA, and Soichi Noguchi of Japan Aerospace Exploration. They'll be staying at the ISS for up to six months. The four astronauts will join the three people already living in the ISS.

This is the first time SpaceX will be using the Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket after NASA gave the company the green light to reuse its vehicles for future travel. SpaceX had sent astronauts to the ISS before, wrote Space, when two crew members traveled with SpaceX for a two-month stay in May.

The Verge reported Crew-1 should experience a smoother and faster run to the ISS, unlike the launch in May, which took 19 hours to reach the space station. Crew-1 should take eight-and-a-half hours to reach the ISS. Technically, the ISS only sleeps six people, and this will be the first time seven people will be onboard. Hopkins said he'd probably sleep in Dragon while NASA gets another bed for him.

Cross your fingers for good weather

This is NASA's second attempt at this journey. Dragon was supposed to leave for orbit in October, but SpaceX wanted to fix some issues with the rocket's engines first. (The company's since changed out machines on Falcon 9.) There was some concern that Hurricane Eta, which CNN reported made landfall in Florida on Thursday, could hamper the launch. All this means NASA has to monitor the weather closely.

NASA and SpaceX also made other changes from their first launches. After the astronauts from SpaceX's launch in May returned to Earth, they landed in the Gulf of Mexico. Amateur boaters approached the capsule, causing concern because the Dragon uses fuel that can be harmful to people. NASA and SpaceX asked the Coast Guard to keep a 10-mile radius from the landing site this time.

Unlike the May launch, Crew-1's mission will start at night, perfect for some prime-time viewing. Discovery and Science Channel will air the entire launch and will feature former astronauts on their program. 

To prepare for the mission, SpaceX has already test-fired the Falcon 9, said Space. The test-fire, called a static fire, is an essential pre-launch step. Crew-1 may pave the way for tourists to go to space, which means it's another dream vacation to save up for. And since the U.S. no longer goes to the moon, maybe companies like SpaceX can bring us back?

Space Launch Live: Crew-1 Lift Off will simulcast live on both coasts on Sunday, November 15, at 5 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Pacific on Discovery and Science Channel.