Today at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley participated in a countdown dress rehearsal of the launch day events. The crewmates are preparing to launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and fly to the International Space Station. Demo-2 will be the first crewed mission for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
Behnken and Hurley began their day in the Astronaut Crew Quarters inside Kennedy’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. The pair put on their black-and-white SpaceX spacesuits, took the elevator down to the ground level and exited through a pair of double doors, where their transport vehicle – a Tesla Model X — waited. With smiles and waves, they climbed in for the 20-minute ride to Launch Complex 39A.
The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft have been in place on the launch pad since Thursday morning, May 21. Behnken and Hurley entered the Crew Dragon by way of the pad’s Crew Access Arm and checked their communications systems before the hatch was closed. The rehearsal concluded with the go/no-go poll for Falcon 9 propellant loading, which normally occurs 45 minutes before launch.
The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron are predicting a 40% chance of favorable weather conditions for the SpaceX Demo-2 mission. Launch is scheduled at 4:33 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 27, from Launch Pad 39A. The primary weather concerns for launch are flight through precipitation, thick and cumulus clouds.
Clouds Coverage Bases (feet) Tops (feet)
Cumulus Scattered 3,000 15,000
Altostratus Broken 10,000 17,000
Weather/Visibility: Rain showers/5 miles
Temperature: 80 degrees
A strong high pressure ridge near Bermuda is creating east winds across Central Florida today. This flow may create morning coastal showers, but the cells will be inland of the Spaceport by the time they can develop into thunderstorms. A low pressure area moving off the mid-Atlantic states stalls as it nudges into the ridge. Tomorrow, the low pressure area will weaken the ridge enough to allow an increase in moisture along its western periphery and into South Florida. Monday will see the clouds infiltrate the Space Coast as the ridge fully breaks down. Easterly winds will increase as a low pressure area develops over the Gulf of Mexico. Rain showers will be prevalent off and on all day. Tuesday will continue the cloudy, rainy conditions over the Spaceport. On launch day, continued extensive cloudiness is expected with rain showers and isolated thunderstorms expected throughout the day.