Officials Say Odds Are Good for SpaceX Launch
The Falcon 9 rocket bound for the International Space Station is set to lift off at 4.55 Saturday morning. If the mission succeeds it will be the first time a commercial space craft has linked up with the ISS, and it will mark an important step in the journey towards a fully fledged commercial crew program.
SpaceX hopes to join a short list of governments in flying to the outpost.
On Friday, NASA officials described the mission as a "seminal moment" for spaceflight.
The rocket carrying the Dragon capsule is set to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at precisely 4.55 Saturday Morning.
Forecasters said there was a 70 per cent chance of good weather.
At a press conference friday, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said there's a narrow launch window to get the capsule up to the space station because of the positioning of the ISS and the amount of fuel on board the rocket.
"You want to launch when the orbit plane flies as close to the launch site as possible," said Shotwell.
"The more you miss it, the more propellant you need to catch up."
The mission has been delayed several times, but Shotwell said she believes the odds are good for Saturday's launch.
"I'm going to give myself a better than a fifty-fifty shot of lifting off tomorrow, and if we lift off, I believe we will get to orbit."
If the mission goes to plan, the capsule, which is packed with non-essential supplies, will perform a series of maneuvers around the space station before docking on Tuesday.