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NASA, SpaceX prepare for launch do-over

'50/50 chance' weather holds out for rescheduled launch
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Posted at 9:38 AM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 17:35:57-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA and SpaceX are moving ahead with this weekend's planned rocket launch, weather permitting.

The first attempt at the first manned rocket launch on U.S. soil since 2011 was scrapped Wednesday because of inclement weather.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said there was too much electricity in the atmosphere Wednesday, postponing the historic collaboration between NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will give it another shot onboard the Dragon spacecraft Saturday. It is currently rescheduled for 3:22 p.m.

Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, at SpaceX pre-launch news conference
Bob Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center, speaks during a pre-launch news conference alongside NASA astroanuts and officials, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

However, Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana said there's a "50/50 chance" it will go on as planned.

"I think this is certain, though: We are going to launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil," Bridenstine said.

Bridenstine said safety remains the highest priority for the Dragon's final test flight to the International Space Station.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein says 'no pressure' with launch
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein says during a Friday, May 29, 2020, news conference that there is "no pressure" to launch if conditions aren't safe to do so.

"There will be no pressure," Bridenstine said. "We will launch when we are ready."

If the launch is delayed Saturday, there is another window of opportunity Sunday afternoon.

Bridenstine said there are other considerations, including crew fatigue.

"There is always, always, always going to be uncertainty," Bridenstine said.