Live Updates: NASA and SpaceX to launch astronauts to the ISS

first_img12:45 p.m.: Weather forecast for launch includes chance of showers, possible thunderstormsThe weather forecast ahead of the launch in Cape Canaveral, Florida, includes a chance of some showers, possible thunderstorms, and potentially, some electrically charged clouds.Major weather concerns ahead of the launch are rain and lightning. Residual electrical charges from leftover thunderstorms might interact with the rocket which has a charge itself as it goes through the troposphere and can cause trigger lightning, according to ABC News’ chief meteorologist Ginger Zee.As of Wednesday morning, the launch mission’s executive forecast predicted a 50% probability of violating weather constraints.NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted just after noon on Wednesday that they will continue monitoring downrange weather, but are still proceeding towards a 4:33 p.m. launch. We are go for launch! @SpaceX and @NASA will continue monitoring liftoff and downrange weather as we step into the countdown. We are proceeding toward a 4:33 launch.— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 27, 2020 1:50 p.m.: Astronauts suit up and head to the launch padBehnken and Hurley suited up ahead of the launch, in the same room where the first crewed Apollo mission astronauts got into their gear. “We are a go for launch!” Bridenstine wrote.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Strapped in Ready for the ride#LaunchAmerica pic.twitter.com/qJeBMFEWvS— NASA (@NASA) May 27, 2020 “The suit is really one part of the bigger Dragon system, it’s really part of the vehicle,” Chris Trigg, SpaceX’s space suits and crew equipment manager said. “The suit and the seat are working together.”The suits were designed by SpaceX’s team in California. Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(MERRITT ISLAND, Fla.) — History is being made today as NASA and SpaceX gear up to launch Americans into space from American soil and on American equipment for the first time in nearly a decade.The SpaceX Demo-2 launch is scheduled to liftoff at 4:33 p.m. ET from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, propelled by a Falcon 9 rocket, will carry NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.The launch is historic in part because it ends a nearly 10-yearlong U.S. dependency on Russia for seats to space. It also marks the first time Elon Musk’s private space firm, SpaceX, is launching astronauts.Here is the latest on the milestone launch for the U.S. space program Wednesday. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.2:20 p.m.: Elon Musk calls launch ‘a dream come true,’ shares what he said to astronautsIn comments on NASA’s broadcast of the launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called the day “a dream come true” for him and everyone at SpaceX.“When starting SpaceX in 2002, I really did not think this day would occur,” Musk said.He called the day the culmination “of 100,000 people working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine added that “a lot of folks said it couldn’t be done.”“SpaceX can do things that NASA historically has not done,” Bridenstine said, noting how the private space company has “tested, failed, fixed and flyed” multiple times ahead of the historic launch with astronauts today.Musk said he felt extra responsibility when he saw the astronaut’s family members.Musk said he told the astronauts, “we’ve done everything we can to make sure you guys come back okay.”2:10 p.m.: Astronauts wrap up communications checkAfter strapping into their seats, Behnken and Hurley did a series of communications checks from inside the spacecraft.All systems appeared to be working and the astronauts could communicate clearly with the teams on the ground.From inside the capsule, Hurley said they are “feeling great” ahead of the launch.2:00 p.m.: Astronauts get strapped into the capsuleAfter giving “air hugs” to their friends and family, Behnken and Hurley strapped into their seats in the Crew Dragon.Vice President Mike Pence, donned in a mask, also greeted the astronauts and their families as they headed into the Crew Dragon. SpaceX spacesuits are designed for optimum functionality with Dragon pic.twitter.com/QW4DirDirx— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 27, 2020 Time to suit up! @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug suit up to #LaunchAmerica in the same room as the first crewed Apollo mission, Apollo 7: https://t.co/U1COQzFy4v pic.twitter.com/fJJTA9Nnz5— NASA (@NASA) May 27, 2020last_img read more