SpaceX and NASA to launch first manned flight in nine years

SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida

SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell have also implored the public to follow the launch on television in order to prevent crowds of spectators from triggering a Covid 19 outbreak. Today's launch will also mark the first time in history that a commercial aerospace company will carry humans into Earth's orbit, a milestone NASA and space fans have been looking forward to for almost a decade. The pair will also be conveyed to the launch pad on Tesla-manufactured electric cars. On board will be Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken, 49, and Douglas Hurley, 53, both veterans of space flight. SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002 and formally known as Space Exploration Technologies, has never previously flown humans into orbit, only cargo.

The instantaneous launch window is 4:33 p.m. from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The previous launch attempt on May 27 was called off 17 minutes before lift off due to weather conditions. SpaceX Vice President of Build and Reliability Hans Koenigsmann described the method of weighing those dozens of sites as an extremely complex algorithm, suggesting that unacceptable weather in certain spots might not fully delay a launch opportunity.

American astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will today reattempt to launch from the Kennedy Space Centre onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket-the first manned U.S. launch in nine years.

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The Air Force's 45th Space Wing, which helps manage any launches done on the East Coast, said in a forecast issued early Wednesday: "The primary concerns for launch are flight through precipitation, as well as the anvil and cumulus cloud rules associated with the afternoon convection". The latest forecasts predict a 60% chance of favorable weather on Wednesday, up from 40% around 24 hours ago.

Bridenstine said in a social media statement just after noon that "we are a go for launch!"

SpaceX and NASA "will continue monitoring liftoff and downrange weather as we step into the countdown", he added.

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