Make or break moment for SpaceX crew capsule

Demo One Preview, a dummy named Ripley, a make or break momentStory by

We are two days out from a monumental launch.  Saturday, 2:49 a.m. is the pivotal moment for Demo One, the test flight of the SpaceX Dragon Crew Capsule.  It’s been five years in the making.

This is the test to see if they can actually strap an astronaut in there, or rather a test dummy named Ripley -- a nod to fans of the movie Alien.   A few items of cargo will also be along for the ride as the capsule makes its way to the International Space Station.

Since the United States canceled the shuttle program in 2011, our astronauts have rented seats onboard Russian crafts to get to space. This capsule from SpaceX is literally our ticket to take back our destiny, as astronauts will have a new, exciting option for transportation.

“And it’s a millisecond, so if there’s a boat or a plane, or anything in the final minutes of the countdown, [the launch] will be scrubbed,” said Dr. Ken Kremer, editor of

He explained that, unlike some other launches, there is no launch window, so at precisely 2:49 a.m., it’s go or no go. Right now, officials are calling for 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions.

“Everything looks good, but you never know until the last moment,” Kremer said.

Dr. Kremer said this is a make or break moment for SpaceX, which NASA has partnered with to get this done.

“Everything has to go well with this flight first, and then SpaceX will have one more test flight -- the high-altitude abort test -- where they’ll separate the capsule from the rocket, pretend there’s a rocket emergency, separate the capsule.” Kremer said.

That round of testing would come in June, but we’ve got to clear this hurdle first.  The capsule is scheduled to come back on March 8.