All eyes on weather for early Sunday crewed launch as astronauts makes final preparations

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon are on the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center ahead of a scheduled Sunday morning launch to the International Space Station.

Four astronauts will spend the next six months conducting science experiments and maintenance on the orbiting laboratory.


On Friday night, SpaceX and NASA teams have their launch readiness review, and officials are keeping a very close eye on the weather.

READ: NASA announces coverage plan for week leading up to Crew-3 launch

European Space Agency astronaut Mattias Maurer will join NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron.

On Thursday night, the Crew-3 astronauts completed a countdown dress rehearsal ahead of Sunday’s 2:21 a.m. launch.

There will be a launch readiness review Friday at 8 p.m., and around 1 a.m. the crew will have its final weather briefing to determine if they’re ready to move into the countdown.

READ: 9 things to do this weekend: SpaceX Crew-3 launch, Halloween movie at Lake Eola & more

The launch weather for the mission looks great, but it’s the weather along the possible abort sites that’s marginal.

Crew-3 is SpaceX’s third operational mission to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew program, but it will be the first flight to space for astronauts Chari, Barron and Maurer.

READ: SpaceX on track for weekend Crew-3 launch following successful static fire test

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.