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Commemorating the Crew Dragon: Experiencing the Historical Launch from Home

Updated: 
Friday, May 29, 1:36 pm
Savannah Kuchar
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SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft undergoes final processing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, in preparation for the Demo-2 launch to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Crew Dragon will carry astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley atop a Falcon 9 rocket, returning crew launches to the space station from U.S. soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. (Photo: SpaceX)

For the first time in nine years, the U.S. will be sending a crewed shuttle into space from American soil. The Falcon 9 Rocket will launch with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule from Launchpad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this Saturday (postponed due to weather), carrying astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.

There are many great ways to celebrate this history-making event safely from home. Even though you may not be able to invite over friends or neighbors due to the coronavirus, you can still plan a fun watch party to make lift-off this Wednesday a memorable experience for you and your household. 

The livestream can be found on NASA’s website beginning at 10 a.m. CT, and the launch itself is scheduled for 2:22 p.m. CT. Besides just watching the live event, though, there are other things you can prepare in order to elevate your home watch party. Start by registering to be a guest for NASA’s Launch America online event, to go behind the scenes of the launch by virtually touring the capsule or launchpad, and for the chance to meet NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. Then apply to join the Facebook group #LaunchAmerica Nasa Social for even more content, and help connect any K-12 students you know to the event with webinars and online activities.

Space Center Houston has also curated their own recommendations in a “Demo-2 launch watch party guide,”  available on their website. For starters, enhance the watch party experience with the right background music. On Spotify, you can search for “space” to find a galaxy-sized variety of themed playlists, including “Floating through Space” by Spotify for an ambient feel and deep-space vibes, or “DEMO-2 Launch” by Space Center Houston with on-the-nose tunes like “Starman” by David Bowie. 

And of course, no party is complete without themed food. If you just so happen to have packets of freeze-dried ice cream or Tang powder on hand, break those out to recreate a retro authentic astronaut diet. But for anyone who hasn’t stocked up at the Space Center gift shop recently, you can check out their watch party guide for different recipe ideas such as galaxy brownies, twice-baked potato skins and homemade flour tortillas.

Along with watching the livestream, your watch party can also include fun space-related activities, such as space trivia or building a DEMO-2 straw rocket, both of which are available on Space Center Houston’s website. 

Finally, fully immerse yourself in the space spirit and top the party off with some finer touches, such as putting up starry home décor or donning your own DIY astronaut attire.

Editor’s note: For more on this topic, read When We Went to the Moon: Memories from 50 years ago by Pooja Salhotra. 

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