With only 17 minutes to go, SpaceX had to postpone its first manned space flight Wednesday afternoon local time due to bad weather over the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida. Now, two of SpaceX’s Dragon crew sons, Bob Bainken and Doug Hurley, will leave the cockpit and plan to try again on Saturday, May 30.
“It’s unlikely that the launch is complete,” the staff heard from the control room. “Unfortunately, we can’t launch today. “
NASA Director Jim Bridenstein efinally confirmed that the manned Dragon spacecraft would not be launched today for the safety of astronauts.
Before the launch, SpaceX had indicated that it was most concerned about the flood clouds near Cape Canaveral, Florida, where the company’s Falcon 9 rocket would take off. A charged cloud is particularly dangerous for launch. If the rocket flies close enough, lightning could hit the aircraft and cause damage, ultimately causing unpredictable damage to the mission. Mission controllers predicted that the weather would clear up 10 minutes after launch, but the conditions on the launch pad remained dangerous during the lift-off window at 4:33 a.m. EST.
Mission controllers told the astronauts bad news. “Unfortunately, we can’t launch today,” an engineer told the crew. “The team has made a great effort and we understand that we will be there (after we leave the ship) to meet you. Hurley responded.
The manned space mission is historic for two reasons. First, it marks the first time a private company has sent astronauts into orbit, and the first time an astronaut has been launched from the U.S. mainland since the end of the U.S. space shuttle program in 2011.