ISS commander hails the imminent SpaceX manned launch as a gigantic 'step towards the future' for America and says he is 'confident' the two astronauts will arrive safely

International Space Station Commander Chris Cassidy has spoken out about the significance of the imminent SpaceX launch, which will be the first crewed mission from US soil in nine years. 
'It's a gigantic deal,' says Cassidy during a live interview from space as he spoke about the Wednesday launch that will bring astronauts Bob Behnken, 49, and Doug Hurley, 53, to the station. 
Cassidy is awaiting the arrival of his colleagues aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which replaces the space shuttle which had its program ended in 2011.
'I mean, we retired the shuttle for very sound reasons when that decision was made, with aims to move towards the future,' says Cassidy.
International Space Station Commander Chris Cassidy on Monday spoke about the significance of NASA's upcoming historic space flight, which will be the first launched from US soil since the space shuttle program ended. Cassidy is pictured during the live TV interview
International Space Station Commander Chris Cassidy on Monday spoke about the significance of NASA's upcoming historic space flight, which will be the first launched from US soil since the space shuttle program ended. Cassidy is pictured during the live TV interview
'It's a gigantic deal,' says Cassidy during a live interview from space, speaking of the Wednesday launch that will bring astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley to the station. Both are pictured during a dress rehearsal for the mission
'It's a gigantic deal,' says Cassidy during a live interview from space, speaking of the Wednesday launch that will bring astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley to the station. Both are pictured during a dress rehearsal for the mission
Cassidy is awaiting the arrival of his colleagues aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which replaces the space shuttle program after it ended in 2011. The Crew Dragon is pictured ready for lift off on Wednesday in an image posted on social media by SpaceX founder Elon Musk
Cassidy is awaiting the arrival of his colleagues aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which replaces the space shuttle program after it ended in 2011. The Crew Dragon is pictured ready for lift off on Wednesday in an image posted on social media by SpaceX founder Elon Musk
'Now the future is here,' he tells CBS This Morning
The liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be the first time SpaceX, the private aerospace company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has launched a manned mission into space. 
The Crew Dragon capsule will launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Launch Complex 39A, the same used for astronauts sent to the moon. 
The launch is scheduled for 4:32 pm on the east coast.

Cassidy offered a vote of confidence for the public-private partnership that's taking Behnken and Hurley to the station.
'They're smart engineers at NASA. They're smart engineers at SpaceX, all with motivation to do the same thing, and that's fly missions effectively and safely,' he said.
Weather, however, has been a concern.  

The liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be the first time SpaceX, the private aerospace company founded by billionaire Elon Musk (pictured), has launched a manned mission into space
The liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be the first time SpaceX, the private aerospace company founded by billionaire Elon Musk (pictured), has launched a manned mission into space
The scheduled takeoff has only a 40 per cent chance of liftoff due to a thick cloud cover and the potential for Space X's Falcon 9 rocket to fly through the rain.
Weather forecasts predict Kennedy's Space Center in Florida, where the launch will take place, will see continued thunderstorms starting this week and into the next.
'On launch day, remnant moisture' from a tropical wave will stay in the area, the Launch Mission Execution Forecast said, according to United Press International. 
SpaceX creates Crew Dragon simulator to practise manually docking
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The scheduled takeoff has only a 40 per cent chance of liftoff due to a thick cloud cover and the potential for Space X's Falcon 9 rocket to fly through the rain. Launch complex 39A is pictured Monday with a heavy cloud cover
The scheduled takeoff has only a 40 per cent chance of liftoff due to a thick cloud cover and the potential for Space X's Falcon 9 rocket to fly through the rain. Launch complex 39A is pictured Monday with a heavy cloud cover
The potential delay comes a week after SpaceX had to postpone the latest launch of its Starlink satellite system because of Tropical Storm Arthur.
Tropical Storm Arthur crept towards the East Coast as the first named storm in the Atlantic Ocean this year. The NOAA later downgraded it to a post-tropical cyclone that was heading away from the US. 
Meanwhile, Behnken and Hurley, both veteran space travelers, completed their final rehearsal for the historic mission on Saturday. 
The two suited up and arrived at the launch pad in a Tesla electric vehicle, in a nod to Musk's auto company. SpaceX also successfully tested their Falcon 9 rocket the day before.  
Behnken (left) and Hurley, both veteran space travelers, completed their final rehearsal for the historic mission on Saturday. The astronauts are pictured earlier this year walking across a crew access arm to the Dragon Crew capsule
Behnken (left) and Hurley, both veteran space travelers, completed their final rehearsal for the historic mission on Saturday. The astronauts are pictured earlier this year walking across a crew access arm to the Dragon Crew capsule
ISS commander hails the imminent SpaceX manned launch as a gigantic 'step towards the future' for America and says he is 'confident' the two astronauts will arrive safely ISS commander hails the imminent SpaceX manned launch as a gigantic 'step towards the future' for America and says he is 'confident' the two astronauts will arrive safely Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:08 Rating: 5

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