Discovery and Science Channel will air a special two-hour documentary, NASA & SpaceX: Journey to the Future, about the first crewed space mission launched from U.S. soil in nine years on Monday and Tuesday, building excitement for the actual launch on Wednesday. NASA will send up astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in SpaceX's Crew Dragon Capsule from Florida's Cape Canaveral, marking the first time a privately-made shuttle will launch American astronauts into space. The intimate documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at NASA's relationship with Elon Musk's SpaceX and narrated by actor Walton Goggins.
Journey to the Future will debut on the Science Channel on Monday at 9 p.m. ET and will be rebroadcast on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery. The documentary includes interviews with Musk, Hurley, Behnken and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, as well as unprecedented access to NASA teams as they work to make sure the mission is a success. This will lead to the simulcast of the launch titled Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space, starting Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Science and Discovery.
The mission, named Demo-2, will take place as planned, with the Dragon Capsule set for lift-off at 4:33 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA said its Flight Readiness Review concluded Thursday, clearing the mission for lift-off. The launch will take the astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA hopes everything goes smoothly to allow the agency to no longer rely on Russian Soyuz craft to carry Americans to space.
Science Channel and Discovery's simulcast has become even more critical for NASA now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials have asked Florida residents not to gather near the space center, despite the excitement surrounding the launch. "We're asking people not to travel to Kennedy, but to watch online or watch on your television at home," Bridenstine earlier this month, reports NPR. Bridenstine said he was "sad" to make that announcement, especially since so many other iconic NASA moments include footage of people gathered to watch.
Before the launch, the broadcast will include commentary from former astronauts Mike Massimino and Karen Nyberg, active astronauts Jessica Meir and K. Megan McArthur, and Bridenstine, as well as a virtual interview with astronaut Chris Cassidy aboard the International Space Station. Mythbusters host Adam Savage will make an appearance, alongside American Idol judge and singer Katy Perry. Former NASA engineer and YouTube star Mark Rober will also join, along with other surprise celebrity guests.