skip to main content

Invitation to AE Launch Watch, Wed. May 27


Debra Levey Larson

SpaceX launch image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
SpaceX launch image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
On Wednesday afternoon, May 27, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket. To commemorate this history-in-the-making event, the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hosting a Launch Watch on Wednesday, May 27 beginning at 3:15 p.m. (CST).

This online Zoom webinar-style event is free, but registration is required and attendance is limited. To register, enter your name and email address in the online form. You will receive an email message containing the official link to attend the launch watch party.

The Launch Watch will begin with comments from several Illinois experts. Michael Lembeck, (B.S. '80, M.S. '81, Ph.D., '91), who was instrumental in the Commerical Crew Program during his career with NASA, will give a brief overview about this mission. Lembeck is a faculty member in the U of I Dept. of AE and director of the Laboratory for Advanced Space Systems at Illinois.

Lembeck will be joined by Zachary Putnam, an AE faculty member specializing in space systems engineering and Sara Legg Dopico, a 2019 AE graduate who worked for SpaceX and is now working for United Launch Alliance.

The program will begin at 3:15pm (CST) with the launch set for 3:32pm (CST). 

For questions about the Launch Watch, please email

For more about the launch, visit