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NASA postpones launch of American astronauts to ISS due to bad weather

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Florida | May 28, 2020 3:11:39 AM IST
Minutes before launch, NASA on Wednesday (local time) called off the most awaited mission that was to be the first to take American astronauts to orbit from American soil in nearly a decade.

The Demo-2 mission was called off due to bad weather. The next opportunities to launch are Saturday at 3:22 pm Eastern Time and Sunday at 3 pm.

"''We are not going to launch today. Due to the weather conditions, the launch is scrubbing. Our next opportunity will be Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 pm ET. Live #LaunchAmerica coverage will begin at 11 am ET," tweeted NASA.

Large crowds had gathered along Florida''s Space Coast to watch the launch and the rocket was on the launchpad, ready to head toward orbit. But showers passed around Kennedy Space Center, The New York Times reported.

Tropical storm Bertha also formed off the coast of South Carolina earlier in the day, adding to the weather concerns.

NASA and SpaceX were scheduled to launch astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken on a mission to the International Space Station at 4:33 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday.

''Demo-2'' launch would mark the first flight of NASA crews from the US soil since 2011 and the first launch of a rocket owned by a private company: SpaceX, the commercial space company founded by Elon Musk.

NASA has assigned two of its most experienced astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, to the upcoming SpaceX mission. The duo will fly on SpaceX''s Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket NASA''s Cape Canaveral facility from Florida, for an extended stay at the space station. The specific duration of the mission is yet to be determined.

Behnken will be the joint operations commander for the mission, responsible for activities such as rendezvous, docking and undocking, as well as Demo-2 activities while the spacecraft is docked to the space station. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 2000 and has completed two space shuttle flights.

Hurley will be the spacecraft commander for Demo-2, responsible for activities such as launch, landing and recovery. He was selected as an astronaut in 2000 and has completed two spaceflights. (ANI)

 
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