With improving conditions expected on and off shore, SpaceX readied a Falcon 9 rocket for a pre-dawn launch Friday to boost a Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts into orbit for a one-day trip to the International Space Station.

Liftoff from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center is targeted for 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, setting up an automated rendezvous and docking at the space station early Saturday.

The SpaceX "Crew-2" flight will mark only the third launch of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil since the space shuttle's retirement 10 years ago. It is the second operational flight under NASA's Commercial Crew Program and the first to use a previously-flown first stage booster and a refurbished Crew Dragon capsule making its second flight.

The Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are central to NASA's goal of ending the agency's sole reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the station aboard Soyuz spacecraft at up to $90 million a seat. And reusability "absolutely lowers cost," NASA's acting administrator, Steve Jurczyk, told CBS News.

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