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Dragon Crew Rehearses for the Launch Day; First Look Weather Looks Ravishing

After completing a dress rehearsal for the launch over the weekend, Dragon Crew Members are in good spirits and gearing up for the liftoff on Thursday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Forecasters with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predict an 80% chance of acceptable weather for launch at 6.11 a.m. EDT Thursday from pad 39A.

While following the rehearsal timeline, the astronauts followed the same timeline of the launch and departed their suit-up room at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building shortly before 3 a.m. EDT. They arrived at the launch pad less than a half-hour later to board the Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft on top of the 215-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket.

They disembarked after simulating a scrubbed launch attempt and returned to crew quarters for debriefing before sunrise on Monday. The dry dress rehearsal was a practice for the astronauts and SpaceX support teams who will help the crew members to dress up and get started for the actual launch event. They will be strapped and suited up into the Dragon capsule. Pesquet, a French-born European Space Agency astronaut, said Monday everything was on track for liftoff Thursday.

“We actually had a couple of days of margin that we didn’t need in the end, so now the rocket is just going to sit on the launch pad today and tomorrow, pretty much, before the final prep on Wednesday, and then on Thursday we’ll be ready to launch,” said Pesquet, who spent 196 days in orbit on a previous trip to the space station.  He further asserted that the crew is excited to be on the mission and is in good shape and in good condition too.

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