SpaceX rolls out rocket, capsule for Crew-8 astronaut launch (photos)

 A white rocket and space capsule are transported to the launch pad horizontally at night, with the yellow-orange moon just above them in the dark sky.
A white rocket and space capsule are transported to the launch pad horizontally at night, with the yellow-orange moon just above them in the dark sky.

SpaceX's next astronaut launch is just around the corner.

The company just rolled out the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule that will fly Crew-8, the next mission that SpaceX will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.

Crew-8 is scheduled to lift off from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday (March 1) at 12:04 a.m. EST (0504 GMT). You can watch it live here at Space.com when the time comes.

Related: 8 ways SpaceX has transformed spaceflight

a white rocket and space capsule are transported to the launch pad horizontally at night.
a white rocket and space capsule are transported to the launch pad horizontally at night.

Crew-8 will send NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barrett, Jeannette Epps and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin to the ISS for a six-month stay. Dominick will be Crew-8's commander, Barrett will be pilot, and Epps and Grebenkin will serve as mission specialists.

The quartet will replace the four astronauts of SpaceX's Crew-7 mission, who are scheduled to leave the ISS about a week after Crew-8 arrives.

a white and black rocket topped with a white capsule stand on a launch pad with a blue sky in the background.
a white and black rocket topped with a white capsule stand on a launch pad with a blue sky in the background.

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As its name suggests, Crew-8 will be the eighth operational astronaut mission that SpaceX flies to the ISS for NASA.

The space agency signed a similar contract with aerospace giant Boeing, which plans to fulfill it with a capsule called Starliner. Boeing is gearing up for its first crewed mission with Starliner, a two-astronaut test flight to the ISS that's scheduled to launch in mid-April.