Weather for Saturday’s SpaceX launch is presently poor

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

The weather for Saturday’s SpaceX launch presently gives only a 40% chance of launch.

Forecasters from the 45th Weather Squadron have issued a slightly more pessimistic outlook for the next two Crew Dragon launch opportunities Saturday and Sunday.

There’s now a 60 percent probability of weather conditions at the launch site violating one of the criteria for liftoff for launch opportunities at 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT) Saturday and at 3:00 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) Sunday, according to the weather team.

The worst part is that the weather doesn’t look good for either day.


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  • LocalFluff

    Florida doesn’t have the best space weather. Boca Chica Beach 1,000 km to the west seems to have much more stable weather.

  • Gary Fisher

    That’s a disappointment, but not nearly so much as a failed launch. What are the next launch opportunities after Sunday?

    LocalFluff Re: Boca Chica, I have no doubt that’s in the future (SpaceX is growing there, and fast) but I suspect NASA wanted this done on their turf, and there is likely a lot more infrastructure in place for manned launches at Canaveral than in Boca Chica. That said, Boca’s got some serious advantages as well.

  • Scott M.

    Now updated to 50/50 go/nogo as of now. Crossing all my fingers and toes!

  • Ray Van Dune

    And of course, the weather at the half-dozen abort landing sites has to be taken into consideration too. As long as we stick to the convenient but risky practice of landing our spacecraft in the water to reduce the need to decelerate them at touchdown, weather is going to be a bigger factor than it need be.

    The Russians didn’t have any conveniently located oceans, so they don’t use water landing, but last-second retro-rockets. Boeing uses airbags, which strikes me as a simple and effective solution. SpaceX of course wanted to use propulsive landing, but applying that to manned vehicles was a bit too far of a step for NASA.

    Bottom line is we on Earth live in a deep gravity well, the deepest in the solar system of any surface we could launch from or land on. It is a penalty we have to find a better solution for than landing in water just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Ps. Of course the scrub Wednesday had nothing to do with the need for a water landing… that we know of. But my point was that bad seas at one or more abort sites could cause a scrub even in beautiful weather at Cape Canaveral.

    PPs. I wasn’t real comfortable with the vague response I heard to the question about how many and/or which abort sites would have to be no-go to cause a launch to be scrubbed by themselves. Those kind of informal criteria (if they in fact are…) are invitations to “go for it” risk-taking.

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