• SpaceX and Elon Musk shared photos of the Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket
  • The spaceship is set for liftoff from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center Saturday
  • The Crew Dragon capsule will send four astronauts to the ISS

SpaceX and founder Elon Musk have shared new photos of the Crew Dragon spacecraft that is set to carry four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) ahead of its Saturday launch.

SpaceX posted the photos of the Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket on its official Twitter account Tuesday. The images were taken in the hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The much-awaited liftoff is scheduled for Saturday at 7:49 p.m. EST. Assuming everything goes to plan, the Crew Dragon, carrying NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, will dock at the space station's port on Sunday at around 4:20 a.m. EST.

Managers from SpaceX and NASA met Monday at the Kennedy Space Center to go over all the preparations for the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, CBS News reported.

"As you can imagine, we're very excited to be here," Hopkins told reporters during a virtual news conference Monday. "We've been here less than 24 hours, and in that time we have seen our rocket, we've seen our space vehicle, 'Resilience,' and we've seen our spacesuits. And so for an astronaut, that's considered a pretty good day."

Hopkins also said that though the high winds and rain in the area had some impact on their preparations, the launch is still expected to push through on Saturday.

Upon their arrival, the four Crew-1 astronauts will be welcomed by cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, who arrived at the ISS last month aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA has high hopes for SpaceX and its spacecraft, seeking to eventually end its reliance on Russia when it comes to transporting astronauts to and from the ISS.

"Our relationship with our Russian partners and the ability to fly with them to the International Space Station on the Soyuz has been fantastic," said Hopkins, who flew aboard a Soyuz for his first flight to the station in 2013.

He continued, "But at the same time, it's also good to have your own capabilities. And it's great for our country, it's great for the world to have options in terms of getting into space."

Crew Dragon Astronauts
NASA astronauts Robert Behnken (L) and Douglas Hurley are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule spacecraft that landed in the Gulf of Mexico after completing the Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station on Aug. 2, 2020, off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images