(ORDO NEWS) — In addition to the threat of bad weather, NASA and SpaceX confirmed on Monday that all systems are ready – everything is ready for the upcoming launch of a rocket with two American astronauts.
The launch scheduled for Wednesday at the International Space Station will be the first space launch with a crew in the United States in nine years.
“NASA and @SpaceX launched a mission that will bring a man’s space flight back to the United States,” the agency said on Twitter after the next day of launch readiness meetings in accordance with a strict protocol on manned flights.
According to officials, on Friday and Saturday passed the so-called static tests for fire resistance and dress rehearsal for astronauts in spacesuits.
“Now the only thing we need to do is figure out how to control the weather,” said Katie Luders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, during a briefing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is due to take off on Wednesday at 4:33 p.m. (2033 GMT) from launch pad 39A with a Crew Dragon capsule at its top.
The capsule will be managed by a crew of 49-year-old Robert Benken and 53-year-old Douglas Hurley, both space travel veterans.
The weather forecast remains unfavorable, with a 60 percent probability of poor conditions, according to forecasters at Cape Canaveral.
The next launch window will be on Saturday, May 30th.
NASA spokesman Joshua Finch said that the estimated probability of “crew loss” is one in 276, which exceeds the minimum threshold required by NASA – one in 270.
Only two vessels developed by Russian and American space agencies have moored to the ISS since it began to be assembled in 1998.
In 2014, NASA entered into contracts with two private companies: industry giant Boeing and then-young SpaceX, founded by 30-year-old South African Elon Musk, who made a fortune thanks to startup PayPal.
The contract was to develop and manufacture capsules that would replace the American space shuttles, which were discontinued in 2011 after 30 years of service.
Since then, Russia has had the only launch vehicle in the world capable of sending astronauts to the ISS – Soyuz.
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