After completing a dress rehearsal for launch day over the weekend, the four astronauts gearing up for liftoff Thursday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket are in good spirits and spending time with their families in Florida before leaving the planet for a six-month expedition on the International Space Station. Forecasters with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predict an 80% chance of acceptable weather for launch early Thursday.
NASA and SpaceX officials are moving forward with preparations to launch the next commercial Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station next week after a Flight Readiness Review Thursday, pending a final evaluation of a discovery by SpaceX that it has potentially been loading slightly more propellant than expected into its Falcon 9 rockets.
SpaceX rolled out a Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft to pad 39A Friday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, setting the stage for a static fire test Saturday and a crew countdown rehearsal Sunday. The four astronauts who will ride the capsule to the International Space Station also arrived at the Florida spaceport Friday to prepare for liftoff.
SpaceX trucked its Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft — refurbished with a new heat shield and structural enhancements — across the Cape Canaveral spaceport this week for attachment to a Falcon 9 rocket ahead of a planned liftoff next Thursday with four astronauts heading to the International Space Station.
A Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Wednesday with another batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites, achieving success on SpaceX’s 100th mission to launch from Florida’s Space Coast and clearing the way for liftoff of a NASA crew mission to the International Space Station later this month.