NASA’s First Commercial Crew Program Launch has unfortunately been postponed due to weather conditions not allowing for a safe launch. The possibility of canceling today’s launch has been rumbling for the last few days. Yesterday, held a 60 percent chance of safe conditions but today’s forecast put the chances of liftoff down to 50/50. Basically, a coin toss.
NASA waited until countdown was just under 17 minutes before calling it off. While disappointing for the many hoping to watch the launch make history, the safety of the astronauts is paramount. Weather aside, all the hardware checks were complete for launch, making this an important and successful dress rehearsal for when it actually takes place.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait long.
The next ideal launch window is this coming Saturday, May 30, slightly earlier in the day, at 3.22 pm ET. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will repeat the same operations they did today, before launching towards the International Space Station to join Expedition 63.
You will be able to watch it stream live on NASA's TV channel and social media channels (here is the full list of how and where to stream), or you can watch it stream live on the IFLScience Facebook page.
The Commercial Crew Program has seen NASA partnering up with private companies to reduce the cost of transporting astronauts to low-earth Orbit, currently $80 million a seat on Russia's Soyuz capsule, by launching astronauts from home soil, allowing the agency to provide more resources and attention to deep-space missions like returning to the Moon, and later, Mars. The rocket and capsule in today’s aborted launch are designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the first private space company to (nearly) transport astronauts to space.
Watch this space.