Weather Forecast Shows Conditions 30% Favorable for SpaceX Rocket Launch Tuesday at Kennedy Space Center

launch set for 5:06 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 21

ESA astronaut Alex Gerst uses a microscope with the Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratory Camera attached to document a Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) MicroG Card. The photo was taken in the Destiny U.S. Laboratory aboard the International Space Station for the Crystallization of LRRK2 Under Microgravity Conditions-2 investigation. (NASA image)

(NASA) – SpaceX is targeting 5:06 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 21, for the launch of its Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The launch team could be facing a challenging weather forecast, according to 45th Weather Squadron.

The latest weather report shows conditions only to be 30-percent favorable for Tuesday’s launch.

“Less than favorable conditions are expected for the primary launch window early Tuesday morning, with the main concerns associated with this weather the Cumulus Cloud Rule, Thick Cloud Layer Rule, and Surface Electric Field Rule,” said 45th Weather Squadron in a released statement.

The flight will be SpaceX’s 24th Commercial Resupply Services mission to the orbiting laboratory.

Experiments aboard the launch include investigations into bioprinting, crystallization of monoclonal antibodies processing alloys, and laundering clothes in space.

Others will study changes in immune function and plant gene expression in microgravity. The resupply mission will also bring student citizen science projects to the station.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft also will carry crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 66 crew.

In November, the International Space Station surpassed its 21-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technology demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth.

During that time, 249 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory, which has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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