BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The rainstorms are expected to pass in time for SpaceX to launch four astronauts from Florida’s coast later this week on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Forecasters with the 45th Weather Squadron issued the forecast for Thursday’s instantaneous launch window at 6:11 a.m. and are predicting an 80% chance of favorable liftoff conditions.
SpaceX will launch NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, in the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule from Kennedy Space Center launchpad 39A.
There are certain weather criteria that must be met before the Falcon 9 can blast off.
Following storms for several days, the system causing all the rainy weather will get a nudge from a cold front that will push it south late Wednesday.
There are a few concerns for Thursday’s launch window. Although the rain will begin clearing through most of the late afternoon Wednesday, it’s the winds at targeted liftoff time that will be monitored closely. As high pressure builds, there will be a strong pressure gradient producing strong north winds between 17 and 22 mph.
The primary concern for liftoff will be winds, according to the 45th’s forecast.