CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — With the weather outlook improving, SpaceX is pressing ahead in its historic attempt to launch astronauts for NASA, a first by a private company.
Forecasters put the odds of acceptable conditions at 50-50 for Saturday afternoon's planned liftoff, the first launch of NASA astronauts from the U.S. in nearly a decade.
SpaceX and NASA are monitoring the weather not just at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, but all the way up the East Coast and across the North Atlantic. The wind and waves need to be within limits in case the SpaceX Dragon crew capsule — carrying Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — needs to make an emergency splashdown.
They're headed to the International Space Station.
Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts took and from the space station.