A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted NASA’s Crew-2 to the International Space Station from Kennedy Space Center at 5:49 a.m. EDT on April 23, 2021, with a Crew Dragon capsule. We had a chance to see the launch from the NASA causeway, on the Cape Canaveral side.
The predawn launch was perfectly timed for lovely light effects as the capsule and the booster it shed (which subsequently landed on the drone ship) headed to the horizon in parallel. The contrail left a swirl of noctilucent cloud in the early morning sky.
This is the second crew launched to the ISS aboard a Falcon 9. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, will spend six months aboard the space station.
There’s also new hardware aboard the capsule, including science experiments.
GoPro timelapse video (in nightlapse mode) and photographs shot with two Nikon cameras are featured in the video. You can see some of the photographs in the gallery below.
Roll over a photo to see its caption, and click on any of the pictures to start a slide show of larger images.