Watch SpaceX rocket launch LIVE stream as astronauts are launched into space

How you can watch a live stream of the rocket launch which is expected to take place just after 9.30pm


Astronauts will launch into space from the USA tonight for the first time in nine years. 

SpaceX has come together with Nasa to launch its first manned mission to the International Space Station, named Demo-2.

Rocket Falcon 9 which is carrying the Crew Dragon capsule with experienced Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken, 48, and Douglas Hurley, 53, is to blast off from launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

And you can join in with the excitement by watching the build-up to the launch and the lift-off live on Nasa's live stream aobve.

Shortly afterwards you will also be able to head outside to catch a glimpse of the spacecraft as it pass over the UK minutes later.

Lift-off is scheduled for around 4.33pm EDT (9.33pm BST), which means you may be able to catch sight of the rocket in night sky above the UK 15 minutes later, at around 9.45-9.50pm.

According to Major Tim Peake – who was launched to the ISS himself in 2015 – look west, to the right of the moon, at 9.20pm to get a sighting of the ISS, then by around 9.50pm the spacecraft should follow the same route as the ISS over the UK.

The mission will allow the US to once again send humans into space rather than relying on paying Russia for a lift on their spacecraft as they have done for the past nine years.

According to Nasa, this is a demonstration mission to show SpaceX’s ability to ferry astronauts to the space station and back safely.

It is the final major step required by SpaceX’s astronaut carrier, the Crew Dragon, to get certified by Nasa’s Commercial Crew Programme for more long-term manned missions to space.

Let us know if you manage to catch sight of the rocket and send your photos to @MENnewsdesk.