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SpaceX is gunning for a history-making rocket launch of 2 NASA astronauts on Wednesday, but a stormy weather could foil its plans

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SpaceX is on the cusp of making spaceflight history for both itself and NASA — that is, if the weather cooperates.
The private rocket company, …

SpaceX is on the cusp of making spaceflight history for both itself and NASA — that is, if the weather cooperates.
The private rocket company, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, is hoping to launch its first-ever passengers into space from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The test flight is called Demo-2, and it’s the culmination of roughly $3.1 billion in funding from NASA through the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which is an effort to resurrect the human spaceflight capability that NASA lost in July 2011 when it retired its fleet of space shuttles.
“We are going to launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,” Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, said during a televised briefing on May 1. “We’re going to do it here in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and I’m going to tell you that this is a high-priority mission to the United States of America.”
Demo-2 will have NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley climb aboard SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon spaceship, launch into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket, and later dock with the International Space Station (ISS), where they could live for up to 110 days before returning to Earth.
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley (left) and Robert Behnken (right) participate in a dress rehearsal for launch at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 23, 2020, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station.
Kim Shiflett/NASA
Before the mission can lift off, though, SpaceX had to clear a handful of final hurdles. On Friday, the company passed a critical safety review of the mission, test-fired its rocket, and on Saturday, performed a launch dress rehearsal. On Monday, SpaceX passed an ultimate launch readiness review with NASA, which gave the Demo-2 mission a “go” for launch at 4:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
“Now the only thing we need to do is figure out how to do is control the weather,” Kathy Lueders, who has managed NASA’s Commercial Crew Program since 2013, said during a telephone press briefing on Monday.
During Monday’s briefing, Mike McAleenan, the launch weather officer for the US Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron, jokingly assured Lueders that his division is “in the weather sales business, not production.

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