HOUSTON — NASA officials tell KHOU 11 News NASA and SpaceX managers have given the "go" for launch of the Demo-2 mission.
The Launch Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission has concluded at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That Launch Readiness Review is a pre-launch safety inspection and logistics review held prior to the launch of all rockets.
"The vehicle tested nicely in static fire," said NASA Commercial Program manager Kathy Lueders, adding the spacecraft fired for the full duration.
She said the full crew launch day checkout went smoothly and ahead of schedule.
Norm Knight, deputy director of NASA's Johnson Space Center said they had a "really good" review Wednesday.
"From the crew's perspective, we're happy. It was a very thorough review," said Knight.
The "go" is another major milestone ahead of Wednesday's scheduled launch, which will return human spaceflight to the International Space Station from U.S. soil on an American rocket and spacecraft as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Astronauts Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley will fly the SpaceX Dragon capsule to the ISS.
The Dragon will be the third vehicle ever to deliver humans to the space station.
Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, at 4:33 p.m. EDT from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A.
The big question is if the weather in Florida will cooperate on Wednesday.
In a prelaunch news conference, managers from NASA, SpaceX, the ISS, and the 45th Weather Squadron addressed the weather parameters required for launch at length.
Mike McAleenan, launch weather officer of the 45th Weather Squadron, said they are watching Wednesday's weather closely, calling it a "dynamic situation developing across Florida."
"It's trending better over the last day or two," he said. "I'm very happy we're not launching today."
He expects the front to clear out some moisture, and that they "have some hope" for launch day, that by then the current low-pressure system will be further away.
Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Build and Flight Reliability for SpaceX, said the final call on whether to launch can come as late as 45 minutes before liftoff, when crews arm the "escape" system. He said they monitor the weather for hours leading up to then.
If the launch is "scrubbed," or postponed, there are two backup dates, May 30, and May 31, which line up with the orbit of the International Space Station.
Wave heights and wind speeds play a factor not just in the launch, but also if the crew needs to abort for any reason.
Behnken and Hurley have been training for this mission for five years, traveling back and forth between Houston and Hawthorne, Calif. where SpaceX has its simulators.