SpaceX Launch Set for Second Attempt on Saturday

Pablo Tucker
May 30, 2020

This Demo-2 mission will be history-making in two ways.

SpaceX conducted a successful test flight of Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) in March 2019 with a sensor-laden mannequin on board named Ripley, after the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the "Alien" movies. Watch below for full coverage. NASA will try again on Saturday for the inaugural flight that will be the first manned mission since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 to be launched into space from the United States. "Postlaunch coverage commentators are Leah Cheshier, Courtney Beasley, Gary Jordan and Dan Huot from NASA; and Kate Tice, Siva Bharadvaj, and Michael Andrews from SpaceX".

Hurley and Behnken are in great spirits, he said, and ready to go.

Astronauts are set to arrive at the Space Station on Sunday, May 31 at around 10:29 a.m. EDT (9:29 a.m. CDT) with the hatch opening at 12:45 p.m. EDT (11:45 a.m. CDT).

Nine minutes after launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt a barge landing on SpaceX's Of Course I Still Love You. Often, once a launch window opens, there is a certain amount of time they can delay lift-off, and the rocket can still accomplish its task. Otherwise, the attempt must be aborted for that day and delayed until the next launch window opens.

SpaceX will make a second attempt at launching its first Crew Dragon spacecraft with astronauts this weekend after the liftoff of the historic Demo-2 mission was scrubbed due to bad weather on Wednesday (May 27).

SpaceX and NASA have not yet officially announced the next backup launch date if Demo-2 doesn't get off the ground this weekend.

Lewis says the weather for tomorrow is 50/50 just like on Wednesday. There remains the potential for weather complicate Saturday's and Sunday's launch attempts.

Cumulus or cumulonimbus clouds near the launch site would indicate the presence of turbulence and possibly strong upper-level wind shear. These conditions could disrupt the rocket's flight path, overtax its structural integrity or force it to consume too much fuel. These rules were created to protect against lightning strikes to the in-flight rocket, triggered by the rocket's interaction with storm clouds or unleashed by the storm itself.

Large rockets can actually trigger lightning when they fly through a strong enough atmospheric field.

Wednesday's rocket launch violated three of the ten Lightning Launch Commit Criteria that the squadron uses to give launches a green light.

'Unfortunately, we are not going to launch today, ' launch director Mike Taylor said, with about 17 minutes to go until takeoff.

Bridenstine said a decision on the timing of the next countdown will be made this afternoon, after the next major weather briefing.

Those "cotton ball" clouds are weather's "biggest threats" to rocket launches, according to Jason Fontenot, the commander who oversees weather monitoring for the mission.

Past spacecraft that have carried astronauts into orbit were marvels of technology. SpaceX's Crew Dragon, on the other hand, looks to be something straight out of science fiction that has been made real.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, at 3:22 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

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