History was postponed today as NASA and SpaceX were forced to scrub the historic Demo-2 mission 17 minutes before its scheduled liftoff. The first manned mission to launch from American soil since 2011 and the first commercial manned launch was called off due to storm conditions.
The Demo-2 mission was scheduled to launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:33 pm EDT atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. With NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, the mission was intended to make the first commercial flight to the International Space Station (ISS).
According to NASA, the launch attempt had encountered no major technical issues, but launch weather officials told SpaceX Launch Director Mike Taylor that there wasn’t enough time for weather to improve before the instantaneous launch window would pass. At the time, atmospheric electricity levels passed the safety threshold and rain, cumulus clouds, and anvil clouds closed in on the space center.
"We can see raindrops on the windows,” said Hurley as he and Behnken were told of the scrub. "We understand everybody’s probably a little bummed out, but that’s part of the deal."
The next Demo-2 launch attempt is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, at 3:22 p.m. EDT.