SpaceX will cause a problem Saturday - in the name of progress

Crew Dragon performing its Pad Abort Test in May 2015. Credit NASA

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship is launch again this weekend - possibly for its final flight prior to the capsule carries a team of astronauts.

But finding the right weather conditions could be a roadblock this weekend.

In preparation of this last major milestone, SpaceX has already raised up its Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule at launch pad 39A in Florida and the crew access arm has been extended ahead of Saturday's in-flight demonstration. The unmanned Crew Dragon craft is set to land in the Atlantic Ocean after deploying parachutes.

The planned launch has been postponed until Sunday, with a six-hour test window set to begin at 08:00 EST (13:00 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Centre in the USA state of Florida.

Here's SpaceX's 2d launch of the one year and the 2d in lawful two weeks.

"SpaceX and NASA flight controllers along with support teams will be staged as they will for future Crew Dragon missions, helping the integrated launch team gain additional experience beyond existing simulations and training events", NASA said in a statement. The launch has deliberately been terminated early - at about 84 seconds after the rocket hits its "Max Q" point or at the moment of its flight when it is under greatest air tension. But only a few test dummies will ride when the Falcon 9 starts on Saturday.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon for a critical in-flight abort test launch stands atop Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida for a January 19, 2020 liftoff. The weather at the recovery site is expected to improve late Saturday morning, meaning that the launch may slide closer to midday than at the top of the window.

If you can resist the urge to sleep in Saturday, you can look to the east. The space company said that "due to sustained winds and rough seas in the recovery area" have promoted SpaceX to delay the test.

SpaceX may face the opposite problem on Sunday. A backup test date is also available on January 20.

Americans have not flown into space aboard a USA craft since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

SpaceX and Boeing, NASA's other commercial crew partner, are in charge of recovering their spacecraft after a usual landing. Both SpaceX and Boeing have struggled with parachute development. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russian Federation billions of dollars for its astronauts to board the country's Soyuz capsules. Each company has a slightly different certification process with NASA, which means that Boeing only had to demonstrate an abortion test of the launch pad instead of an abortion test in flight. It is not clear when the vehicle will be ready for crew missions.

Space X requires this attempt to perform well to display its readiness to lift off NASA space experts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to the International Space Station on a crewed flight test sometime this year. It could be NASA's first manned space mission in nearly a decade, and it will be the first manned mission for SpaceX in its 18-year history.

"We expect there will be some kind of ignition, and probably some kind of fireball", said SpaceX's Benji Reed.



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