Astronauts Robert Behnken, Douglas Hurley Participate in Countdown Dress Rehearsal At Kennedy Space Center

By  //  May 25, 2020

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Weather Forecast shows 40% chance of favorable weather conditions for Wednesday's launch

ABOVE VIDEO: NASA’s mission with SpaceX to launch American astronauts to the International Space Station is cleared to proceed, officials said, following a successful Flight Readiness Review that concluded Friday, May 22, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley participated in a countdown dress rehearsal of the launch day events Saturday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley participated in a countdown dress rehearsal of the launch day events Saturday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA Image)

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 Wednesday, May 27, from Launch Pad 39A.

The primary weather concerns for launch are flight through precipitation, thick and cumulus clouds.

FORECAST DETAILS

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.

On May 23, 2020, Demo-2 crew members Robert Behnken (right) and Douglas Hurley walk down the hallway of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as they prepare to be transported to Launch Complex 39A during a full dress rehearsal ahead of launch. (Image by NASA/Kim Shiflett)

Sunday, 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.

On May 23, 2020, Demo-2 crew members Robert Behnken (right) and Douglas Hurley (left) walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for transport to Launch Complex 39A during a full dress rehearsal ahead of launch. (Image by NASA/Brandon Garner)

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