NASA and SpaceX are prepared for a second attempt at launching astronauts into space from the United States for the firsts time since 2011 this Saturday, after a previous attempt was abandoned due to poor weather.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will carry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station from Kennedy Space Center, where it will launch from the same pad that was used during the Apollo missions, according to Fox News. The launch was previously scheduled for Wednesday, but that had to be canceled less than 20 minutes before countdown because of thunderstorms in the area.
NASA noted in a blog post on Thursday that there is a 50% chance of favorable weather on Saturday, and that “the primary weather concerns for launch remain flight through precipitation, anvil and cumulus clouds.”
The last shuttle launch from the U.S. took place on July 8, 2011, when the space shuttle Atlantis brought four NASA astronauts into space, where they provided supplies for the ISS and took part in an experiment to refuel satellites using robots. The U.S. retired its shuttle program shortly after, and has instead taken Russian Soyuz rockets that launch from Kazakhstan, for which Russia charges the U.S. roughly $75 million per astronaut.
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