SpaceX launch: Astronauts speak out following postponement of historic launch

Pablo Tucker
May 29, 2020

NASA and SpaceX are now hoping for the launch to take place on Saturday. It's the first such launch on American soil in almost a decade - since NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the two NASA astronauts that will be carried into space aboard a SpaceX Dragon reusable spacecraft, had been loaded into the vessel hours ahead of launch before it was called off.

Mr Behnken, 48, and Mr Hurley, 53, are experienced Nasa astronauts who have been involved in testing of the Crew Dragon capsule.

On Wednesday, SpaceX's landmark launch to the International Space Station was scrubbed Wednesday due to fears of a lightning strike.

The much-heralded joint launch between NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX was postponed on Wednesday due to light rain in Florida.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who is chairman of the National Space Council, were both at Kennedy Space Center for Wednesday's launch attempt.

Looming rain and thunderstorms meant that the first launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years had to be aborted just minutes before lift-off.

Since 2011, worldwide space agencies, including NASA, have been relying on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, created by the national space agency Roscosmos, to taxi astronauts to and from the ISS for cost reasons.

He added: "There wasn't really a lightning storm or anything like that, but there was concern that if we did launch it could actually trigger lightning". NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.

"This is a dream come true, I think for me, and everyone at SpaceX", Musk said hours before the launch.

"We can see raindrops on the windows", said Hurley as he and Behnken were told of the scrub.

'When we run up against the limits of reality, VR is going to make our reality that much better, ' he said.

"We understand that everybody's probably a little bit bummed out". The rocket, meanwhile, should land on a drone ship after launch.

Minutes after beginning the fueling process, NASA's standard preflight "go/no-go poll" determined the weather to be too risky and mission control handed down the abort order.

Since ending its Space Shuttle programme in 2011, Nasa has depended on Russia's space agency Roscosmos to transport its astronauts to the space station.

The mission, named Demo-2, would have seen SpaceX become the first private company to send astronauts into space.

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