NASA said that although weather conditions at the Florida launch site are still uncertain, SpaceX’s historic first manned space shuttle is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station on Saturday.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “We are starting today’s launch. Said In a tweet. “The weather challenge still has a 50% chance of cancellation.”
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said: “The countdown begins today.” Entrepreneur Elon Musk is headquartered in California, and the company is seeking to be the first to send astronauts into space. private company.
Since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, weather forced the postponement of satellites originally launched by American astronauts from the United States on Wednesday.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to take off at 3:22 pm Eastern Time (1922 GMT or 12:52 IST on Sunday). This is the NASA approved spacecraft for regular crews The last test flight before the flight.
The next window determined by the relative position of the launch site and the space station is 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday (1900 GMT or 12:30 noon on Monday), and the weather is expected to be clear.
NASA astronauts, 49-year-old Robert Behnken and 53-year-old Douglas Hurley, who joined NASA in 2000, will launch a two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the historic launch pad 39A to the International Space Station.
Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crew used the same launch pad on their historic 1969 lunar trip because NASA tried to return Earth satellites then reinvigorate the passion of human space exploration before returning to Mars.
Although it was closed nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mission is still being executed.
Behnken and Hurley, veterans of two space shuttle missions, have been in isolation for more than two weeks and have been regularly tested for COVID-19.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) urged people to stay away from the traditional Cocoa Beach-but that did not stop dozens of space fans on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump, who participated in the previous launch attempt, is expected to attend again.
The moment that defines SpaceX
Since the end of the space shuttle program, NASA had to pay Russia for the use of Soyuz rockets to send American astronauts into space, and decided to shift its focus to commercial partners for low-Earth orbit missions.
The mission of the “Crew Dragon” spacecraft created by Musk in 2002 is called “Demo-2”, which is a decisive moment for SpaceX.
After Sigourney Weaver’s role in the “Alien” movie, SpaceX successfully conducted a test flight of the crew to the International Space Station on a mannequin named Ripley in March 2019 .
By 2012, it had become the first private company to dock in the cargo hold of the International Space Station and has since refueled the station regularly.
Two years later, NASA ordered the next step: to transport astronauts there by adapting the “Dragon” capsule.
The NASA paid SpaceX more than $3 billion to design, build, test, and operate its reusable space capsule for six space shuttles in the future.
The project has experienced delays, explosions and parachute issues-but even so, SpaceX defeated rival aviation giant Boeing.
Crew Dragon plans to dock with the ISS approximately 19 hours after liftoff. The deadline has not yet been determined, but it may be around early August.
Wednesday’s flight was scrubbed 17 minutes before departure because the high levels of electricity in the atmosphere may have triggered a lightning strike from the rocket.
As astronauts Behnken and Hurley were tied to the Crew Dragon capsule, the launch pad platform was retracted, and the rocket refueling was in progress, SpaceX and NASA issued a call for abandonment.
The live video broadcast showed that Behnken and Hurley were wearing futuristic white uniforms with American flags and NASA and SpaceX logos, waiting to unload the propellant from the reusable Falcon 9 rocket after the launch was delayed.
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