BREAKING NEWS 4 people in Morgan County School System test positive for coronavirus Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

NASA: Do not come to Florida for SpaceX's historic astronaut launch

The head of NASA is urging space enthusiasts not to show up to Florida for the launch of SpaceX's first crewed mission next month.The historic launch,...

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 7:18 AM

The head of NASA is urging space enthusiasts not to show up to Florida for the launch of SpaceX's first crewed mission next month.

The historic launch, slated for May 27, will be broadcast online, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that is where the general public should plan to watch astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken fly into space atop a SpaceX rocket.

It will mark NASA's first human spaceflight launch from US soil in nearly a decade. Bridenstine said NASA and SpaceX are pushing forward with the mission amid the pandemic because it is critical for the space agency to maintain normal operations on board the International Space Station, where rotating crews of astronauts have lived since 2000.

"We're trying to make sure we have access to the International Space Station without drawing the massive amount of crowds that we usually would," Bridenstine told reporters Thursday.

NASA said it is not inviting any spectators to the launch site at Kennedy Space Center. In Brevard County, Florida, county officials are also discouraging tourists from showing up to the area's beaches and other popular launch viewing sites.

"We know there's a lot of excitement about returning humans to spaceflight, and we're proud that it's happening here in our county — but everyone is safer at home right now," Don Walker, the county board of commissioner's communications director, said.

If people do flock to Brevard County, Walker added, they should expect "a headache and a half."

Public parking is closed along the county's entire 72-mile stretch of coastline. Restaurants are still shut down, and hotels are not welcoming guests. If that is still the situation next month, Walker said an influx of tourists could leave people gridlocked in traffic and stranded on roadways.

Walker added that the county is continuing to monitor the Covid-19 outbreak, and he said it's possible restrictions could change over the next month. Some rules were lifted for Florida beachgoers this week.

Brevard County is following guidance from federal and sate officials, he said, and looking to see a two-week decline in new Covid-19 cases before officials move to reopen the local economy. But delays in testing could mean officials still don't have a complete picture of how widespread the virus may be in the area, Walker added.

No matter what, officials don't want large groups of travelers gathering in the area, potentially setting off another outbreak.

"We urge visitors to plan ahead and stay safe, protect yourself and others," Walker said.

SpaceX and Boeing have worked for the past decade to return human spaceflight capabilities to the United States. NASA allotted $2.6 billion to SpaceX and $4.2 billion to Boeing in 2014 to develop next-generation spacecraft. That marked a new approach for the space agency, which has long kept design and testing of spacecraft in-house.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft was the first to complete its major testing milestones, and NASA announced last week that the company's first crewed mission will take off on Wednesday, May 27 at 4:32 p.m. ET.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 79°
Florence
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 88°
Fayetteville
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 93°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 91°
Scottsboro
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 102°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 101496

Reported Deaths: 1821
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13463261
Mobile10671216
Montgomery6955153
Madison551035
Tuscaloosa432780
Unassigned398568
Baldwin371029
Shelby336137
Marshall319938
Lee272447
Morgan242520
Etowah219034
DeKalb185214
Calhoun182819
Elmore176739
Walker154865
Houston145013
Russell13912
Limestone137813
St. Clair137520
Dallas134725
Franklin130822
Cullman123812
Colbert122518
Lauderdale120320
Autauga118822
Escambia109417
Jackson10724
Talladega106914
Tallapoosa87679
Dale85029
Chambers84838
Chilton8279
Blount8255
Clarke82110
Coffee7796
Butler77336
Covington74621
Pike7167
Marion58726
Barbour5816
Lowndes57524
Marengo56817
Bullock49211
Hale48826
Winston45711
Bibb4535
Washington44913
Perry4464
Wilcox43610
Monroe4246
Pickens41110
Randolph40311
Conecuh39410
Sumter36618
Lawrence3563
Macon34114
Crenshaw3318
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2798
Clay2775
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25311
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 126393

Reported Deaths: 1289
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23785315
Davidson21044221
Rutherford671956
Hamilton640855
Knox485240
Williamson365626
Sumner350173
Unassigned31243
Out of TN290418
Wilson237423
Montgomery201514
Bradley201315
Sevier19169
Putnam184018
Robertson158720
Trousdale15836
Hamblen142515
Washington13522
Blount133315
Maury12998
Madison122221
Tipton121710
Sullivan107515
Hardeman96818
Bedford94011
Macon87013
Lake7960
Loudon7743
Gibson7498
Dickson7183
Fayette7188
Bledsoe7172
Anderson7116
Dyer6798
Henderson6262
Cheatham6079
Obion5984
Jefferson5964
Lawrence5937
Coffee5733
McMinn56720
Carter5646
Rhea5472
Warren5454
Greene5249
Lauderdale5239
Haywood5227
Weakley5034
Hawkins50010
Roane4962
Hardin4868
Cocke4855
Cumberland4836
Smith4614
Monroe4589
McNairy3976
Giles39113
DeKalb3691
Franklin3434
Carroll3415
Lincoln3201
Marshall3104
White3105
Johnson3070
Henry3030
Claiborne2810
Crockett2775
Hickman2760
Campbell2571
Chester2302
Marion2305
Wayne2302
Overton2211
Decatur2183
Polk2134
Grainger2060
Unicoi1750
Union1650
Benton1611
Cannon1570
Humphreys1313
Jackson1311
Morgan1301
Scott1242
Grundy1222
Sequatchie1131
Meigs1090
Fentress980
Clay830
Perry830
Hancock822
Stewart790
Lewis761
Moore640
Houston620
Pickett401
Van Buren370

Community Events