This is CNBC's live blog of the SpaceX Crew-1 launch carrying astronauts for NASA and JAXA. Click here to read more on the mission's significance.
SpaceX and NASA launched the Crew-1 mission on Sunday evening. It’s the company’s first fully operational astronaut launch and the beginning of regular missions to the International Space Station.
“With this milestone NASA and SpaceX have changed the historical arc of human space transportation,” NASA director of commercial spaceflight development Phil McAlister told reporters ahead of the launch.
The mission took off at 7:27 p.m. ET from launchpad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
You can watch NASA’s live webcast of the launch below:
Resilience reaches orbit, marking a major milestone for SpaceX as the Crew-1 mission begins
SpaceX lands the booster of the Falcon 9 rocket
Five minutes after liftoff: Falcon 9 rocket doing well, booster on its way back to attempt landing
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was performing as expected and on course five minutes after liftoff. The rocket’s booster, also known as its first stage, will attempt to land on the company’s droneship station in the ocean.
Liftoff for Crew-1
10 minutes to liftoff, SpaceX is go for launch
SpaceX misson control director: “We’re honored to have you as our crew as we begin operational missions to the ISS. Have an amazing trip and know that we are all for one.”
NASA astronaut and spacecraft commander Mike Hopkins: “To all the people at NASA and SpaceX, by working together through these difficult times you’ve inspired the nation, the world, and in no small part the name of this incredible vehicle, Resilience. And now it’s time for us to do our part, Crew-1 for all.”
SpaceX begins fueling the rocket with 35 minutes until launch
SpaceX has begun fueling the Falcon 9 rocket. The propellant is rocket grade kerosene and liquid oxygen.
SpaceX retracts the crew access arm, prepares to begin fueling the rocket
SpaceX’s launch director verified that the Falcon 9 rocket is “go” for “propellant load” (meaning fueling of the rocket will begin now) and crew arm retraction.
The company then armed the escape system on board Crew Dragon Resilience -- this will carry the astronauts away from the rocket very quickly in an emergency scenario.
Spacecraft commander Mike Hopkins: ‘Dragon is go for launch.’
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins confirmed the launch is good to go shortly after the countdown clock ticked below one hour to liftoff.
SpaceX: Leak check complete, good to go for launch
SpaceX mission control said that the second “leak check has passed,” with the teams seeing “consistent [pressurization’ readings to what we saw in dry dress” rehearsal.
Weather remains clear for launch
SpaceX’s John Insprucker says that a patch of bad weather does not look it will arrive at the launch area before liftoff.
“Local conditions are good,” Insprucker said. “Upper altitude winds we’re looking at with the balloons we are releasing and those show us that conditions in the upper altitude for stability are good.”
SpaceX reopens spacecraft hatch to inspect possible leak
SpaceX had mostly closed the hatch of the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft when the company’s team identified “a pressure drop” while checking for leaks in the seal. The spacecraft needs to be pressurized for the mission and is “not like closing a door,” the company said on the mission webcast.
The closeout team found “a little piece of FOD,” or foreign object debris, SpaceX senior engineer Kate Tice said, noting that it was “probably what was causing the hatch not to maintain pressure.” The team re-closed the hatch with one hour and 41 minutes to go before launch.
SpaceX: Crew-1 still go for launch as weather ‘continues to be acceptable’
SpaceX’s John Insprucker on the launch webcast said that “The weather forecast continues to be acceptable,” noting that teams are watching possible upper altitude rain showers and the thick cloud rule.
“Keeping the fingers crossed,” Insprucker added.
All four astronauts seated and strapped in to Crew Dragon spacecraft ‘Resilience’
With about two and a half hours to go, all four Crew-1 astronauts were seated in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience. The seats of the spacecraft then rotated back slowly into the launch position, with the astronauts facing skyward.
Vice President Mike Pence to watch launch in person
Vice President Mike Pence said that he planned to attend the Crew-1 launch in person. He and his wife are expected to arrive at about 6:20 p.m. ET.
The astronauts head out to the launchpad with about 3 hours to go
The four astronauts, after suiting up and speaking with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, walked out of the Operations & Checkout building.
They spoke briefly with their families before getting in the three Tesla Model Xs and driving out to the launchpad. They arrived at the base of the rocket with about 3 hours to go before liftoff.
The astronauts put on their SpaceX spacesuits
The astronauts are putting on their SpaceX spacesuits and making sure each one is operating correctly.
SpaceX's John Insprucker on the launch webcast said that the Crew-1 astronauts received a weather briefing at T-04:20:00, with a 50% probability still of the launch delaying. But Insprucker added that the weather officer sounded "a little optimistic that the weather boundary we've seen coming toward us may not make it and may stay away long enough."
The SpaceX and NASA mission controllers for the launch have taken to their consoles, while the company has pressurized the fuel inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft "Resilience."