NASA’s Jim Bridenstine talks ahead of SpaceX launch

Katie Ramirez
May 30, 2020

SpaceX plans to attempt to launch NASA astronauts to orbit for the first time on Saturday, if the weather cooperates. If it can not proceed, the next launch attempt would occur Sunday at 3 p.m.

The 45th Space Wing forecasts a 50 percent chance of weather affecting the launch Saturday.

A team of meteorologists will not only be tracking the weather conditions in the area of the Kennedy Space Center, but also downrange from the Falcon 9 rocket's planned northeasterly trajectory over the Atlantic.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, right, with Doug Hurley talk to the media in front of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, about the progress to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station, from American soil, as part of the agency's commercial crew program at SpaceX headquarters, in Hawthorne, Calif., on October 10, 2019.

Launched atop the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon will accelerate to approximately 17,000 miles per hour, according to NASA, placing the capsule on course for the International Space Station.

During the launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 space flight in Florida, there are huge members gathered in the location.

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke under sunny skies at Kennedy Space Center in Florida about the weather's potential impact on SpaceX's Demo-2 launch. "D$3 eep moisture will remain in place this weekend ... with rain chances well above normal", it wrote in its forecast discussion.

A rocket and its plume ascending through clouds act as conductors and can trigger lightning at lower levels of atmospheric electricity than what is required for natural lighting. But unfortunately, bad weather delayed the launch to earlier than Saturday. The majority of the rules relate to the presence of thunderstorms or thunderstorm clouds within 10 nautical miles to the launch site and flight path. "The challenge there is not that we were in a lightning storm, or anything like that".

Past instances of rockets launching into stormy conditions have led to close calls and disaster.

Bridenstine offered high praise for Musk on Friday and all his personal touches: spiffy spacesuits, Tesla rides to the launch pad, a colour-co-ordinated rocket and capsule - and more. Nevertheless, the crew was able to complete the mission to the moon. They include wind sensors, lightning detection systems, a surface electric field system and radar.

Technically, SpaceX could make an attempt on the first day, and try again on the second day if weather forced a scrub.

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