SPACEX LAUNCH DELAYED
SpaceX scrubbed plans to launch the first American astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil on Wednesday as thunderstorms tore through Florida’s Space Coast, temporarily thwarting a highly anticipated test that could determine the future of American space flight.
Astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken were slated to blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s Dragon Crew capsule at 4:33 p.m. But strong winds, heavy rain and lightning posed too high a risk. Another complicating factor was Tropical Storm Bertha, which made landfall in South Carolina, hundreds of miles north of Kennedy Space Center.
The next available launch windows will be on Saturday and Sunday, though weather could still pose a problem. Currently, there’s a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions during the coming weekend, according to the Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron.
For human space flights, like the one that was scrapped on Wednesday, weather patterns must be suitable at various points throughout the Atlantic Ocean in the event that the crew needs to abort the launch mid-flight in case of an emergency.