The Crew Dragon atop its Falcon 9 rocket. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX plans to attempt to launch NASA astronauts to orbit for the first time on Saturday, if the weather cooperates.

Why it matters: If it works, this launch will mark the first time a private company has sent humans to orbit, and could be the beginning of the end of NASA's reliance on Russia for flights to and from the International Space Station.

How to watch: NASA TV will air coverage of the event starting at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, with the launch expected at 3:22 p.m. ET.

  • The space agency will continue coverage through the Crew Dragon's docking with the space station, expected to occur at 10:29 a.m. ET on Sunday.
  • Coverage should include live shots of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley saying goodbye to their families before being driven out to the pad and loading into the capsule before launch.
  • You can watch all the action live in the window below:

But, but, but: Just like during the first launch attempt on Wednesday, weather will likely be the limiting factor for Saturday's launch.

  • At the moment, the Air Force is predicting just a 50% chance of good weather during the instantaneous launch window on Saturday, with the odds getting slightly better on Sunday, at a 60% chance.
  • SpaceX's first launch attempt was scrubbed just inside of 17 minutes before launch when it became clear that the weather wouldn't clear in time for liftoff that day.

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