Stormy weather puts damper on SpaceX’s 1st astronaut launch

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Stormy climate is threatening to delay SpaceX’s first astronaut launch.

A SpaceX rocket is scheduled to blast off Wednesday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center, carrying a Dragon capsule with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. It would be the first time astronauts launch from Florida in 9 years and a primary for a personal firm.

The supervisor of NASA’s industrial crew program, Kathy Lueders, stated all the pieces was progressing nicely — at the least on the bottom.

“Now the only thing we need to do is figure out how to control the weather,” she stated Monday night as rain continued to drench the realm. “We’re continuing to be vigilant and careful and make sure we do this right.”

Forecasters put the percentages of acceptable launch climate at 40%. But that doesn’t embody the circumstances all the best way up the U.S. and Canadian coasts and throughout the ocean to Ireland — an advanced mixture of measurements distinctive to the Dragon crew capsule.

The Dragon’s emergency escape system can kick in, if essential, all the best way to orbit. If that occurs, the capsule will want comparatively calm wind and seas through which to splash down.

SpaceX may have at the least two restoration ships deployed off Florida, and NASA may have two army cargo planes able to take off. Additional planes will probably be stationed in New York and England to help with a possible water rescue, based on Lueders.

Hans Koenigsmann, a vp for SpaceX, stated the launch management crew will incorporate world climate patterns and fashions to find out whether or not it’s protected to launch.

“If the weather gods are working with us,” he stated, liftoff will happen at 4:33 p.m. SpaceX has a split-second launch window.

The excellent news is that the tropical climate headed towards Cape Canaveral ought to be gone in a pair days, with circumstances additionally enhancing up the Eastern Seaboard later within the week.

If SpaceX doesn’t launch Wednesday, its subsequent try can be Saturday.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely liable for all content material.