WATCH LIVE: Space X to launch two humans into space on American soil for the first time in 9 years
- Cape Canaveral, FL
Space X is about to launch two astronauts into space to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch will be the first launch carrying humans into space from American soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle nine years ago.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule is unique: The company handled design and development, though NASA still provides critical safety oversight. Scott's team numbered in the thousands when she worked on the Space Shuttle program. But her team now numbers in the hundreds.
Still, Scott has never been more confident, she said.
The [SpaceX] system is definitely much safer than the Shuttle — for lots of reasons."
For one thing, the Shuttle required astronauts to strap into the giant white spaceplane, which was vertically attached to rocket boosters on the launch pad. But for this mission, the astronauts will sit tight in the Crew Dragon capsule, which sits atop one large rocket.
With the Space Shuttle, "a piece of foam came off and hit the orbiter," causing the catastrophic destruction of the Columbia orbiter in 2003.
"But if you have a capsule on top — hey, the only thing that's gonna hit is a raindrop."
A large storm just moved in over Florida's Space Coast, and it doesn't look to be in any hurry to move away.
At about 1:42 pm, launch officials said the weather is currently a no go.
But it is still possible for the sky to clear in time for launch. A final decision could come about 45 minutes ahead of the 3:22 pm ET liftoff time. That's when the "Go/no-go" poll officially begins. That means launch controllers in Florida will check in with other groups — including mission controllers at SpaceX's headquarters in California and weather officials at the 45th Space Wing — to make sure everyone is comfortable moving forward.
2:34 pm est Kennedy Space Center gives the go on weather. The weather scrubbed the first planned launch on Wednesday afternoon.
- MLWA 7 / CNN