CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The forecast looks promising for SpaceX's planned 1:22 p.m. Friday launch of a Dragon capsule packed with cargo for the International Space Station, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports.
There's an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions during the instantaneous launch window at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with thick clouds a potential concern, according to the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron.
SpaceX today raised a Falcon 9 rocket booster vertical at Launch Complex 40 in preparation for a brief test-firing of nine Merlin engines, the last big technical milestone before the launch countdown.
The mission is SpaceX's fifth of 12 planned for NASA under a $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract.
If the launch slips to Saturday, the weather odds drop to 70 percent "go" during the instantaneous window at 12:59 p.m., with thick clouds again a possibility.
NASA last week announced that the launch, once scheduled for today, had been pushed back to no earlier than Friday to allow SpaceX to do "everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch."
The Dec. 11 statement said SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule were healthy, and the launch appears to be on track for Friday.