After a scrubbed Wednesday launch attempt, Crew Dragon Demonstration Mission Two (DM-2) lanced skyward Saturday, 30 May 2020. The mission marked the return of crewed spaceflight to Florida’s Space Coast, which hasn’t sent astronauts up since STS-135 in July 2011.
Despite a convective SIGMET issued for a few nearby thunderstorms threatening to derail plans yet again, the pad and abort location weather remained stable at the T minus 7 minute mark, allowing the engines to enter cryochill. Conditions managed to stay steady at Cape Canaveral, and shortly after 1922 UT, the Merlin 1D engines ignited, sending the Falcon 9 into the air above Launch Complex 39A, and past the abort sites in the Atlantic.
Smooth sailing continued as the Falcon first stage was recovered on droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” deep in the Atlantic; once the second stage had delivered Crew Dragon to its parking orbit, it was on its own to for the next 19 hours to the ISS. The mission has only just begun!
Soyuz launched early Friday with a Russian military payload, Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne demonstrated its performance profile Monday in unscheduled water landings, and Florida thunderstorms prevented the launch of Crew Dragon DM-2 on Wednesday.
Delta Airlines has suspended service to Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) effective 13 May 2020. The announcement came in a Delta press release on 8 May. The city had been served by ERJ 175s from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Saskatoon is still linked by Air Canada and WestJet to other air hubs, and by Transwest Air to points north.