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UPDATE: Weather scrubs NASA astronaut liftoff from Kennedy Space Center

Liftoff with astronauts Doug Hurley, Bob Behnken set for 3:22 p.m. Saturday | Weather 60%

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – After a nearly nine-year remission, it was launch day for NASA astronauts from Kennedy Space Center again as SpaceX prepared to become the first private company to send humans into orbit and onto the International Space Station but about 15 minutes before launch officials delayed the attempt.

The next opportunity for launch happens Saturday at 3:22 p.m.

WATCH NASA, SPACEX LIVESTREAM BELOW:

Beginning Wednesday morning, you can expect live countdown updates and video in this story from News 6 and ClickOrlando.com as NASA prepares to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

News 6 will have reporters at KSC and throughout Brevard County providing important updates on the countdown and information leading up to the launch. Check back for updates throughout the day and don’t forget to join our virtual watch party where you can pick your view of the liftoff.

Here are the basics:

What’s happening? Elon Musk’s private company SpaceX is set to launch two NASA astronauts onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission known as Demo-2. The Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off at 4:33 p.m. from KSC Launch Complex 39A. After liftoff, Crew Dragon will take 19 hours to fly to the International Space Station.

Who is onboard? Veteran NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are the lone passengers onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. They both have been training for more than five years for this mission. They also happen to be amazing husbands, fathers and all around great guys. Read their amazing stories here.

Why is this so important? Since the end of the space shuttle program, America has paid Russia to ferry its astronauts to and from the space station. As part of NASA’s commercial crew program, the U.S. space agency selected SpaceX and Boeing to develop spacecraft to fly NASA astronauts. This launch will mark the first of the program with people on board.

Weather updates: As of Wednesday at 10 a.m., the Space Force 45th Weather Squadron is predicting a 50% chance of good liftoff conditions at 4:33 p.m. However, that does not include recovery conditions in case of a launch abort. SpaceX, NASA and Space Force weather officials will be monitoring both liftoff and recovery conditions to make the decision of “go” or “no go” closer to the launch window. Click here to read about what happens if the astronauts need to make an emergency abort.

What if there is a delay or scrub? SpaceX has two other opportunities to launch Crew Dragon to the ISS this week, one on Saturday at 3:21 p.m. and again on Sunday at 3 p.m.


Demo-2 launch day updates


5:50 p.m. Astronauts hang out waiting to be brought down after launch attempt

After the launch the propellant was offloaded from the rocket and the launch escape system has been disarmed. The SpaceX team in the White Room will began helping the astronauts out of the spacecraft aftr the Crew Access Arm, or walkway is brought over.

5:30 Trump, Pence to return Saturday

President Donald Trump gestures as he participates in a tour of NASA facilities before viewing the SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 Launch at Kennedy Space Center, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Marillyn Hewson, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, looks on at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump gestures as he participates in a tour of NASA facilities before viewing the SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 Launch at Kennedy Space Center, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Marillyn Hewson, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, looks on at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

After departing KSC on Air Force One, President Trump tweeted he will be “back” on Saturday for the second attempt.

“Thank you to @NASA and @SpaceX for their hard work and leadership,” he tweeted. “Look forward to being back with you on Saturday!”

Vice President Pence said he, too, would also be in attendance for the do over.

4:17 p.m. Weather delays launch attempt

At this point in the countdown the weather was still “red” meaning Falcon 9 cannot launch. SpaceX called a launch scrub for the day.

“I don’t think we’re going to get there with any of the (weather) rules today,” launch officials said.

“It was a good effort by the teams,” Astronaut Doug Hurley said.

The next attempt is at 3:22 p.m. Saturday.

Hurley and Behnken will stay put until all the fuel can be pulled off the rocket so it is safe for them to come down.

Hurley said “we’ll try it again Saturday.”

3:55 p.m.

SpaceX has armed the emergency escape system on Crew Dragon.

The crew access arm, or walkway, has moved away from the spacecraft and Falcon 9 can begin fueling.

“I am getting goosebumps over here,” NASA astronaut Leland Melvin said of this moment.

3:45 p.m.

The News 6 and Clickorlando.com launch watch party has begun! Click here to pick your view of the countdown and launch and join our watch party.

2:55 p.m. President Trump arrives to watch historic launch

The tornado warning has passed and Air Force One with President Trump on board just flew over Kennedy Space Center.

If the launch happens, Trump will be the first sitting president to attend an astronaut launch since President Bill Clinton.

Vice President Mike Pence is also at the space center and spoke to both astronauts before they headed out to the launch pad.

2 p.m. Tornado warning in Brevard

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Brevard County that is in effect until 2:15 p.m.

SpaceX and NASA will make the call 45 minutes before the 4:33 p.m. liftoff if the weather will prevent launch but right now launch officials say they are still “go."

1:30 p.m. Weather still in question but astronauts head to the launch pad

The dark clouds and lightning are not looking good as the astronauts ride in a Tesla to Launch Complex 39A.

As the astronauts rode by everyone outside the press site at Kennedy Space Center waved and cheered them on. It was such a cool sight to see!

1:15 p.m. Astronauts head to the pad in style

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley  say goodbye to their families before heading to the launch pad on May 27, 2020. The astronauts rode in a Tesla to the pad.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley say goodbye to their families before heading to the launch pad on May 27, 2020. The astronauts rode in a Tesla to the pad. (WKMG 2020)

Behnken and Hurley are now en route to Launch Complex 39A after saying goodbye to their wives and sons outside the O&C building.

It was an emotional moment as they were families couldn’t touch them but waved and offered words of encouragement.

The astronauts will ride in a Tesla to the pad.

12:30 p.m. Astronauts handed off to SpaceX for suit up

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley suit up ahead of launch on May 27, 2020 at 4:33 p.m.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley suit up ahead of launch on May 27, 2020 at 4:33 p.m. (WKMG 2020)

Around noon astronauts Bob Hurley and Doug Behnken had lunch and went through final medical checks with NASA teams before being handed off to SpaceX teams to put on their spacesuits.

Once the suits are on the astronauts will leave the Operations and Checkout building and say final goodbyes to friends and families. They will then get in their Tesla and head to the launch pad.

At the pad they will take the elevator up the launch tower, walk across the crew access arm or walkway to the Crew Dragon.

Launch countdown coverage is being jointly hosted by SpaceX and NASA at KSC and Johnson Space Center and in Hawthorne at SpaceX headquarters.

Tropical Storm Bertha has begun moving on shore which is improving conditions, according to launch officials.

Concerns at lift off are flight through precipitation but right now everything is still go.

12:15 Launch briefing with NASA, SpaceX and weather officers

NASA, SpaceX and the 45th Weather Squadron will provide an update on the launch at 12:15 p.m. We should get a better idea of the forecast around liftoff and how the astronauts are doing ahead of launch. Watch below:

10: 50 a.m. Astronaut sighting

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken walk outside the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts will blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken walk outside the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts will blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The stars of today’s launch, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, made a quick appearance outside the Neil Armstrong O&C building this morning to put Demo-2 stickers on their rides to the launch pad, two Teslas.

10 a.m. Launch weather drops to 50%

Weather officers with the 45th Weather Squadron have reduced the chances of good launch conditions to 50% and that is only the launch forecast. SpaceX and weather officers are also closely watching conditions in the Atlantic Ocean for recovery conditions in case of a launch abort.

A 12:15 p.m. briefing with NASA, SpaceX and the 45th Weather Squadron should provide more information but as of right now the weather is not looking good.

The backup launch window on Saturday at 3:21 p.m. looks a little better at 60% for launch weather.

-Emilee Speck, New 6 digital journalist

9:30 a.m. All eyes on weather

SpaceX says its teams are “closely monitoring launch and downrange weather.”

Launch time is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center.

8:45 a.m. Lightning alert

NASA told reporters at the KSC press site near Launch Complex 39A there is an ongoing “phase 2” lightning alert.

-News 6 anchor Erik Von Ancken

8:15 a.m. Tropical Storm Bertha

The second named storm of the season formed Wednesday morning near the Carolinas. The same system brought two days of rain to Central Florida earlier this week, but today’s weather concern is sea breeze storms.

Rain could put today’s historic 4:33 p.m. launch in jeopardy.

8 a.m. Remember when?

News 6 reporter Mike DeForest recalls the last time humans were launched into space from American soil. It was July 2011.

This afternoon, SpaceX hopes to make history by sending two NASA astronauts to the space station.

7:30 a.m. Is it a sign?

Some Central Florida residents woke up Wednesday to a beautiful double rainbow as rain fell near Kennedy Space Center ahead of today’s historic launch.

News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges tweeted that it could be a sign while using the hashtag: RainRainGoAway

Sea breeze storms could threaten the launch, scheduled to liftoff at 4:33 p.m. If the rocket can’t go right at that time, SpaceX and NASA will try again Saturday.

7:25 a.m. 9 things you need to know

President Trump, Russia, meet the astronauts and more: here’s everything you need to know about today’s historic launch from Cape Canveral.

6:45 a.m. Early showers on Space Coast

News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth is live on the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier and a steady rain has been falling for the past 30 minutes. It’s the afternoon sea breeze storms, however, that very likely will determine whether SpaceX will send two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

Stay with ClickOrlando.com for continuous coverage of the historic launch, scheduled for 4:33 p.m.

6:15 a.m. Traffic alert

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve will keep you up to speed with traffic alerts.

The Florida Department of Transportation will control traffic on the Beachline and S.R. A1A in Brevard as space enthusiasts are expected to flock to the Space Coast to witness the historic crewed launch from SpaceX and NASA.

6 a.m. Large crowds expected

News 6 reporter Mark Lehman is live at Space View Park in Titusville.

Despite concerns over the coronavirus, big crowds are expected to gather across the Space Coast to watch the historic SpaceX launch, set for 4:33 p.m., sending two NASA astronauts to the space station.

5:40 a.m. Set your alarm

In case you were wondering, here’s how much time is left until the historic crewed launch from Kennedy Space Center.

NASA is ready to go!

5:30 a.m. Sea breeze storms possible over KSC

News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges says some weather models show storms over Kennedy Space Center at launch time.

“This certainly could change, but this is what it looks like right now,” Bridges said.

Check out the full forecast here.

5 a.m. Good morning on Demo-2 launch day

There are no working issues on the morning of the return to space for NASA astronauts from Florida’s Space Coast, according to NASA and SpaceX.

The countdown will begin about 4 hours (12:33 p.m.) before the 4:33 p.m. ET liftoff.

-Emilee Speck, News 6 and ClickOrlando.com digital reporter



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