The countdown clock to the United States' return to human spaceflight continued to tick down on Wednesday, despite a tropical storm in the Atlantic and thunderstorms at Florida's Kennedy Space Center threatening the scheduled 4.33pm EST launch of Nasa's first crewed flight in nearly a decade.
As CNET reports, the Demo-2 mission is "part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which involves two commercial spaceflight companies, SpaceX and Boeing, building and launching crew capsules created to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS".
If the mission does go up at 4:33 p.m., it will be the first time since July 8, 2011 that astronauts will be sent into space from American soil.
As NASA and SpaceX complete final preparations for the first crewed flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, the agency is already looking ahead to the spacecraft's next mission. It will also be the first time a private company has attempted to send astronauts into space.
The SpaceX Falcon 9, with Dragon crew capsule, is serviced on Launch Pad 39-A, May 26, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The YouTube window below should be up and running with pre-launch programming starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
It's not terrific. On Tuesday, the forecast from the Department of Defense's 45th Weather Squadron gave a 60% chance that the weather would be good enough at the launchpad to blast off.
For Musk, Thursday's launch represents another milestone for the reusable rockets his company pioneered to make spaceflight less costly and frequent. Then, at T-minus 2 hours and 35 minutes, they'll cross the 85-foot-long crew access arm and enter the capsule.
This is history in the making, and hopefully the weather cooperates!
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi
"We are so proud and happy for Doug and Bob", astronaut Nicole Mann, who is slated to fly on a future commercial launch on Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, said in a NASA statement. Hurley was part of the crew as shuttle pilot on STS-135, the last shuttle mission and one using the Atlantis orbiter. After considering the proposals, NASA chose the cheapest options and provided SpaceX $ 2.6 billion for the further development of the ship.
Where can I watch "Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space" if I don't have cable?
The Pences, who were wearing face masks, stood alongside Behnken, Hurley and their families as the astronauts said goodbye Wednesday afternoon.
Hurley and Behnken will board the SpaceX Dragon capsule on top of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
He added that he'd texted the two astronauts to tell them they could ask him to stop the launch "for any reason".
It won't be their first time in space however, both have been aboard the old shuttle twice.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the safety of the crew is the most important factor in the flight. President Obama's administration created the Commercial Crew program to support commercial space and provide a way for America to reach the space station after the shuttle program ended.