BUFFALO, N.Y. — As excitement and anticipation grows ahead of Wednesday's planned launch of NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 rocket, the forecast will have the final say whether liftoff occurs.
Tuesday afternoon, forecasters of the U.S. Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron gave a 60% chance of favorable weather conditions around the scheduled launch time of 4:33 p.m. ET. But with now Tropical Storm Bertha off of the South Carolina coast and the chance for seasonal sea breeze showers, local weather conditions around the Florida Peninsula could impact the scheduled launch.
The primary concerns weather wise are precipitation and cumulus clouds. Any cloud-types that produce precipitation (Cumulus, Cumulonimbus, etc) have an organized structure which includes updrafts and downdrafts. These mesoscale weather components could influence a rocket, it's integrity and flight path.
However, even the smallest clearing within the launch window would likely force a "go" as the SpaceX rocket will spend the least amount of time in the troposphere where these weather conditions are.
This is the first manned launch in nine years for NASA and first of the program's history to use commercial partners.
For a full schedule of launch protocol and link to NASA's live stream, click here.