Officials with the U.S. space agency say the weather is looking favorable for the scheduled launch Wednesday of the first manned space craft from U.S. soil in nine years.
During a briefing from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the forecast is currently at 60% favorable for launch, an improvement from Monday when the probability for liftoff was at 40%.
The launch will be history making also because it will be the first manned space flight from a commercially made rocket and spacecraft. Bridenstine said the United States is transforming the way it does space flight by commercializing low earth orbit.
He said commercially made unmanned cargo craft have been resupplying the International Space Station (ISS) for years. Wednesday’s launch will take the next step with commercially produced spacecraft carrying crew, and next they will be flying crew to commercially made and operated space stations.
Bridenstine, along with other NASA officials and the two NASA astronauts scheduled to be launched into space, retired Marine Col. Doug Hurley and Air Force Col. Bob Behnken, held the briefing remotely, with no members of the media present, and each participant sitting at least 2 meters apart, as precautions against the coronavirus.
NASA said they said have taken extraordinary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep all members of the staff and crew safe. The disease is caused by the coronavirus.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 with crew capsule Dragon is scheduled to be launched from the space center Wednesday and dock with the ISS on Thursday.