Sorry Musk, SpaceX and NASA Postpone Historic Astronaut Launch Due to Bad Weather

Sorry Musk, SpaceX and NASA Postpone Historic Astronaut Launch Due to Bad Weather

Wednesday could become a great day for Elon Musk‘s aerospace company SpaceX, as NASA and the SpaceX team were planning to launch American astronauts into space from American soil. However, because of the bad weather conditions, SpaceX and NASA had to postpone the astronaut launch until Saturday, May 30.

Before the potential launch on Wednesday, NASA and SpaceX had been closely observing weather conditions throughout the day. The astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were sitting in a Dragon capsule, preparing to take off from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida. 16 minutes and 54 seconds before the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was to lift off from historic Launch Complex 39A at the Center, NASA called off the mission.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explained:

“It was a great day for NASA, it was a great day for SpaceX. I think our teams worked together in a really impressive way, making good decisions all along. In this particular case, we had simply too much electricity in the atmosphere. There wasn’t a lightning storm but there was a concern that if we did launch, it could actually trigger lightning. We made the right decision.”

Bridenstine further said:

“This was an important milestone, just today. We learn a lot every time we do these things.”

The U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Elon Musk were among the spectators.

On Saturday at 3:22 p.m., there will be another attempt to launch astronauts. However, as NASA and SpaceX have warned, there is only a 50% chance the astronaut launch will actually occur, therefore, another postpone is possible.

If everything goes well, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS). It will be the first time since 2011 that the US astronauts launch on an American rocket from American soil to the ISS.

Elon Musk’s Mars Ambitions

For Elon Musk, a successful flight is extremely important, as well as for NASA. While having a spacecraft and launch system in the US would give NASA better access to the space station, Musk’s most ambitious goal is going to Mars.

He said:

“This is the culmination of a dream. This is a dream come true. In fact, it feels surreal. If you’d asked me when starting SpaceX if this would happen, I’d be like, 1% chance, 0.1% chance.”

In 2022, Musk is planning to send an unmanned SpaceX rocket to Mars, carrying only cargo. If successful, by 2024, he is going to transport humans to the planet. By 2050, he wants to send a million people to Mars by 2050. Besides, he is planning to make a trip there himself too.

Sorry Musk, SpaceX and NASA Postpone Historic Astronaut Launch Due to Bad Weather

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