Thursday, April 18, 2024

SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 manned mission launch is scrubbed due to bad weather

On May 27, NASA and the private space company SpaceX organized the first Demo-2 flight test to the International Space Station from American soil, with two astronauts departing for the ISS. However, the launch of the Crew Dragon capsule had to be canceled with only a few minutes left to launch due to “unfavorable weather conditions” around Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to the space agency itself.

The Demo-2 mission launch has now been rescheduled to Saturday, May 30, at 3:22 p.m. EDT. SpaceX’s decision to reschedule launch was made with only 17 minutes remaining until the anticipated liftoff time.

There was a concern that if we did launch, it could actually trigger lightning,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. “We made the right decision.”

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon spacecraft stand on Launch Complex 39A.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon spacecraft stand on Launch Complex 39A.

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, space shuttle veterans and seasoned test pilots, will have a second chance to be the first to fly this capsule into space orbit and reach their destination, the International Space Station.

In addition, the event is important since the United States has not launched its own astronauts into space since 2011. From that moment on, the North American country had to help itself from Russia and its Soyuz spacecraft, which implied an immense expense for the American economy and put the Russians as the owners of the space monopoly.

Right now, the possibility of launching the mission on Saturday has been set at 50%, pending to see how the weather evolves due to the threat of storms, rains, and clouds in the area. In the event that the launch does finally occur, it will be a 19-hour trip to the ISS, where the astronauts will stay for one to four months until they return to Earth in the same Dragon spacecraft.