CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — For the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. astronauts are about to blast into orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil. And for the first time in the history of human spaceflight, a private company is running the show.

The curtain rises this afternoon with the scheduled liftoff of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule, with two NASA astronauts bound for the International Space Station.

The drama will unfold at the exact spot at Kennedy Space Center in Florida where men flew to the moon and the last space shuttle soared.

The weather is looking up for SpaceX's first astronaut launch, as officials vow to keep crew safety the top priority. Forecasters say the odds of acceptable conditions have improved to 60%.

The launch is scheduled for 3:33 PM Central Time today, and you can watch it all live on the Discovery Channel, Science Channel.

98.1 Minnesota's New Country logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Kelly's Spring Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp Recipe

More From 98.1 Minnesota's New Country