CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Weather chances have improved to 60% ‘GO’ for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch that is scheduled to liftoff with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard at 4:33 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, from Space Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Launch Weather 60% ‘GO’
According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron, a tropical wave that has been delivering copious rains to the eastern half of Florida will finally move offshore Tuesday morning and may develop into a low-pressure area as it drifts north along the Gulf Stream.
The low-pressure area should take much of the cloudiness and rains away to the northeast, but ample remnant moisture will allow afternoon convection to develop over Central Florida.
On launch day, residual moisture will still be present and mid-level steering flow will be westerly, meaning afternoon convection will travel eastward towards the Space Coast.
The primary launch weather concerns are flight through precipitation, as well as the anvil and cumulus cloud rules associated with the afternoon convection.
U.S. Return To Human Spaceflight
NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission will be the first time astronauts have launced from U.S. soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.
Astronauts Behnken and Hurley remain in quarantine, a routine part of prelaunch preparations for astronauts journeying into space. On Saturday, they took part in a full dress rehearsal of launch day, including suiting up and climbing aboard the Crew Dragon at Launch Complex 39A.
Upon arriving at the International Space Station, Behnken and Hurley will join the Expedition 63 crew to conduct research as well as support station operations and maintenance.
While docked to the station, the crew will run tests to ensure the Crew Dragon spacecraft is capable on future missions of remaining connected to the station for up to 210 days.
Although the Crew Dragon being used for this flight test can stay in orbit about 110 days, the specific mission duration will be determined once on station based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch.
Upon conclusion of the mission, Crew Dragon will autonomously undock with the two astronauts on board, depart the space station and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Upon splashdown just off Florida’s Atlantic Coast, the crew will be picked up at sea by SpaceX’s Go Navigator recovery vessel and return to Cape Canaveral.
NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Mission Animation