CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Update 3:18 p.m.:
Bad weather has postponed the SpaceX and NASA launch, officials confirmed shortly before the launch on Wednesday. The next launch attempt will take place Saturday.
All eyes will be on the skies at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon as SpaceX prepares to launch two American astronauts to the International Space Station.
Liftoff is scheduled for 3:33 p.m. CST on the same launch pad where men flew to the moon and the last space shuttle soared in 2011.
KSAT will have multiple livestreams of the launch via NASA.
SpaceX has just a split second to launch the brand new Falcon Dragon capsule.
The weather is a concern, as thunderstorms are in the forecast at the Space Center and along the path to orbit. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Wednesday morning that the weather appeared to be trending toward a launch.
The historic flight is a first for a private company and the first involving Americans from the U.S. in nearly 10 years. Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will be riding aboard the Falcon rocket.
“Bob and Doug are cool as cucumbers," Bridenstine said. "They are absolutely itching to go fly. So these are the best that America has to offer and, yes, it is emotional for me because a lot is riding on this.”
The launch puts Elon Musk's SpaceX in the same league as only three countries — Russia, the U.S. and China, which sent astronauts into orbit in that order.
NASA pushed ahead with the launch despite the coronavirus pandemic, but asked spectators to stay at home to lower the risk of spreading the virus. Beaches and parks along Florida's Space Coast are open again, and local officials and businesses put out a socially distanced welcome mat. Signs along the main beach drag wished “Godspeed SpaceX.”
Hours before the launch, cars and RVs already were lining the causeway in Cape Canaveral, with prime views of the pad.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence planned to fly into Kennedy, where the guest list was exceedingly limited because of the pandemic. Space center tours were on tap, with Bridenstine as their escort.
If SpaceX does not launch Wednesday the next try would be Saturday.