Historic NASA and SpaceX Launch Approved for Wednesday

Wednesday's planned launch will be a landmark for multiple reasons

SpaceX's facilities at the Kennedy Space Center.
Chris Favero/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / May 23, 2020 3:51 pm

Are we on the verge of a new era of American spaceflight? The road towards NASA’s recent work with SpaceX has been a slow and careful one, for obvious reasons — you can never be too careful when sending people into space. Last month brought with it the news that the US was on the verge of the first crewed mission to be launched from American soil since 2011.

This week, observers of spaceflight got some great news in that respect. At The Washington Post, Christian Davenport reports that NASA has given the go-ahead for this historic mission. As Davenport notes:

NASA announced Friday that an exhaustive “flight readiness review” of Wednesday’s scheduled launch of a SpaceX rocket with two NASA astronauts aboard had determined that the mission could proceed.

The launch, a test flight to the International Space Station, is now set for Wednesday at 4:33 p.m. from launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It’ll be both the first crewed launch from a location in the United States in almost a decade and the first use of a private company to send NASA astronauts to space. (In this case, the International Space Station.)

There are still some hurdles to overcome, however. According to Davenport’s report, the weather could still delay the launch. At present, there’s a 60% chance that weather conditions will be unsuitable for sending people into space. It’s a reminder of the number of variables that play into a successful launch — and that some of them are out of the control of everyone working to make it happen.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

Daily Brief

News From Around the Web

July 4, 2020 July 3, 2020 July 2, 2020