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At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day…

You can watch the launch live via NASA TV in the window below:

The latest: SpaceX is now loading up propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket. At the moment, all looks well — including the weather — ahead of launch.

What to watch: Like SpaceX’s first launch attempt on Wednesday, weather will likely be the limiting factor for liftoff on Saturday.

  • At the moment, the Air Force is predicting a 50/50 chance that the weather will be good for liftoff during the instantaneous launch window.
  • Live coverage of the launch should include video of Hurley and Behnken saying a last goodbye to their families before heading to the launch pad and loading into the Crew Dragon capsule.
  • If all goes according to plan, the capsule should dock to the space station at about 10:29 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Go deeper:

  • Why space is good politics for Trump
  • A reckoning for Russia’s space program
  • The astronauts bringing spaceflight back to the U.S.

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Posted by Contributor