How to watch SpaceX’s Crew-6 astronaut launch live online tonight for free (Image Credit: Space.com)
A new SpaceX crewed mission is about to take flight.
Crew-6 will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) no sooner than Thursday (March 2) at 12:45 a.m. EST (0545 GMT). You can watch it live here beginning March 1 at 8:45 p.m. EST (0145 GMT on March 2).
The four astronauts will ride to the orbital lab aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and dock with the ISS less than a day later. Onboard is the first United Arab Emirates astronaut to perform a long-duration mission (Sultan Al-Neyadi), NASA astronauts Warren “Woody” Hoburg and Stephen Bowen and Andrey Fedyaev of Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The first attempt to launch Crew-6 was scrubbed with less than 2.5 minutes left in the countdown on Feb. 27 due to a ground-system issue with the ignition fluid that helps light the Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage engines. NASA and SpaceX selected March 2 for the launch as weather conditions for Tuesday (Feb. 28) were unfavorable. They confirmed they had addressed the underlying issue (opens in new tab) Wednesday (March 1.)
Here’s how you can follow the latest news for the mission online or sign up for a virtual launch experience accessible from anywhere in the world with good Internet.
Feb. 17 onwards: NASA Crew-6 virtual activities
Feb. 17 and following: Registration is open now for NASA Crew-6 virtual activities. “The virtual guest program for this launch includes curated launch resources, timely mission updates, and a virtual guest passport stamp following a successful launch,” NASA says (opens in new tab). You can get more details here (opens in new tab).
Wednesday, March 1: Launch coverage begins
8:45 p.m. EST / 1345 GMT March 3 (approximately): Coverage begins of Crew-6 launch. Coverage is available on the agency’s website (opens in new tab), here at Space.com and NASA social media channels as well, such as YouTube (opens in new tab), Twitter (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab), LinkedIn (opens in new tab), Twitch (opens in new tab), Daily Motion (opens in new tab) and NASA’s App (opens in new tab). with the following participants:
Thursday, March 2: Launch
12:34 a.m. EST (0645 GMT): Crew-6 will launch from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The four astronauts will ride into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This launch time is subject to weather and technical factors and may change.
2:30 a.m. EST (0730 GMT): Postlaunch news conference on NASA TV with the following participants:
- Ken Bowersox, deputy associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
- Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
- Dana Weigel, deputy manager, International Space Station Program, Johnson
- Sarah Walker, director, Dragon Mission Management, SpaceX
- Salem AlMarri, director general, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre
Thursday, March 2: Docking coverage begins
11:30 p.m. EST (0430 GMT): NASA coverage will begin with the docking, hatch opening and welcome ceremony. Coverage is available here at Space.com, via the agency’s website (opens in new tab), along with NASA social media channels like YouTube (opens in new tab), Twitter (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab), LinkedIn (opens in new tab), Twitch (opens in new tab), Daily Motion (opens in new tab) and NASA’s App (opens in new tab).
Friday, March 3
1:11 a.m. EST (0611 GMT): Docking with the ISS occurs.
3:27 a.m. EST (0827 GMT): Hatch opening with the ISS occurs.
3:40 a.m. EST (0840 GMT): The welcome ceremony at the ISS begins.
This story was updated at 9 a.m. EST Feb. 21 with new details about the NASA events. This story was updated again at 9:20 a.m. EST Feb. 22 reflecting the announced delay to the Crew-6 launch and associated events. Another update at 12:47 p.m. EST Feb. 23 included new information about docking timing and events. Another update at 10:15 p.m. EST Feb. 27 included new scheduling of the launch and other events as well as information about the problem that stopped launch during an attempt earlier that day. An update at 8:08 a.m. EST March 1 confirmed a new launch attempt on March 2 as well as post-docking event timings.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why Am I Taller (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).