Skip to main content

NASA keeping an eye on weather forecast for SpaceX’s crewed launch on Thursday

The crew for the second long-duration SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2, are pictured during a training session at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. From left are, Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet of the (ESA (European Space Agency); Pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
The Crew-2 astronauts heading to the International Space Station this week. From left: Mission specialist Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency); pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and mission specialist Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX are making final preparations for the Crew-2 mission that will launch four astronauts to the International Space Station in the early hours of Thursday morning, April 22.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to blast off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:11 a.m. ET (3:11 a.m. PT), assuming no issues occur before then. These include technical anomalies that can surface in the run-up to launch, as well as adverse weather conditions that can also prompt Mission Control to delay lift-off.

Related Videos

Despite some unsettled weather conditions hitting parts of Florida this week, the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron said on Monday there’s an 80% chance of favorable conditions at the launch pad for Thursday’s flight, suggesting there’s a good chance the Falcon 9 rocket and the four crew members will get away on time. However, it added that “the primary weather concerns for the launch area will be lift-off winds.”

In 3⃣ days, @astro_kimbrough, @Astro_Megan, @Aki_Hoshide and @Thom_astro will launch to the @Space_Station! ????????

The U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron predicts an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions for lift off on April 22:

— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) April 19, 2021

The 45th Weather Squadron bases its prediction on SpaceX launch weather criteria, which list in great detail all of the various climatic conditions that could prevent a rocket launch, including strong winds, nearby thunderstorms, and particular types of clouds. The squadron will provide an updated assessment on Tuesday, April 20, two days before launch.

The Crew-2 astronauts traveling inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft atop the Falcon 9 rocket will be NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. When they arrive at the space station, they’ll become part of ISS Expedition 65 for the next six months.

This will be SpaceX’s third crewed mission following its first one in May 2020 that carried NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the space station in the Demo-2 mission. The second launched in November last year, with the four astronauts on that flight set to return from the ISS later this month.

Digital Trends has all the information you need to watch Thursday’s rocket launch live online.

Editors' Recommendations

SpaceX deploys first batch of more powerful Starlink satellites
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches in February 2023.

After scrubbing Monday’s Crew-6 launch due to a last-minute technical glitch with the ground systems at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX moved ahead with the launch of another Falcon 9 rocket from the same launch facility, carrying into orbit another batch of satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service.

However, these ones are different to the several thousand Starlink satellites that are already circling Earth.

Read more
NASA and SpaceX target new Crew-6 launch date after scrubbed effort
Crew-6 astronauts aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

After NASA and SpaceX scrubbed the launch of Crew-6 just a couple of minutes before lift-off early on Monday morning, officials have announced they're now targeting Thursday for the next launch effort.

The team called off Monday’s launch attempt at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida when it suddenly encountered an issue in the ground systems affecting the loading of the ignition fluids for the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry the astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) inside the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule.

Read more
NASA and SpaceX Crew-6 mission ready for launch tonight
From left, NASA astronauts Warren “Woody” Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev and UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, prepare to depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a dress rehearsal for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission launch on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

NASA and SpaceX are ready to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station, with preparations underway and launch scheduled for late tonight PT. The Crew-6 mission is set to launch at 1:45 a.m. ET on Monday, February 27 (10:45 p.m. PT on Sunday, February 26) from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida using a SpaceX Cargo Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket.

In a press conference following a readiness review on Saturday, February 25, NASA officials said that the crew and hardware had been given the go-ahead. "We had a good launch readiness review and we're on track for the 27 launch," said Dana Weigel, deputy manager of the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. "This morning I had a chance to talk to the crew. They're doing great. Spirits are high and they are ready to go."

Read more