San Francisco/Chicago: SpaceX will try again May 30 to launch astronauts into orbit after NASA scrubbed a Wednesday mission as bad weather threatened Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The new timeline means Elon Musk’s SpaceX will have to wait a few more days for astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to ride the company’s Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. The voyage — scheduled for 3:22 p.m. on Saturday — will be the first launch of American astronauts from U.S. soil since 2011.
No launch for today – safety for our crew members @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken is our top priority.
We’ll try, try again to #LaunchAmerica on Saturday with liftoff at 3:22pm ET. NASA TV will begin coverage at 11 am. Join us again virtually: https://t.co/LO1sJwia2G
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 27, 2020
The groundbreaking mission, the first such journey in a commercially developed spacecraft, is the final major test of SpaceX’s human flight system before it can be certified to fly working crews to and from the space station. Boeing Co. is also preparing to carry people to the orbiting lab as part of the same “Commercial Crew” program at NASA.
If the SpaceX launch attempt gets scrubbed again, May 31 will serve as a backup.
Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. in 2002 with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been a key partner and customer every step of the way for the Hawthorne, California-based company. A cargo-only version of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule already makes regular runs to the space station.
President Donald Trump, who flew in on Air Force One shortly before the launch time, indicated he would return for the next launch attempt.
“Thank you to @NASA and @SpaceX for their hard work and leadership. Look forward to being back with you on Saturday!” Trump tweeted while flying back to Washington.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on the plane that Trump would return if a launch takes place this weekend. NASA announced the postponement while Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were at the viewing site. – Bloomberg