SpaceX will make history with its newest rocket ship that will launch on Saturday afternoon. SpaceX’s rocket ship will carry two NASA astronauts into the orbit. The launch that was supposed to take place on Wednesday was called off 17 minutes before the liftoff.
According to 6abc, this was due to the thunderclouds that had dangerous risks of the rocket being hit by lightning.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the rescheduled liftoff on Twitter, stating, “No launch for today – safety for our crew members @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken is our top priority.”
Despite the rescheduling of its liftoff, there is no denying that it will still be historic nonetheless. This is because the blastoff of SpaceX’s rocket ship represents the new era of commercial spaceflight. For the first time in what is nearly a decade, NASA launches astronauts from within the U.S. itself.
The U.S. space shuttle retired in 2011, prompting NASA to rely on Rusian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts from Earth to the Space station.
Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrived to watch on Wednesday. There is no word from the White House as to whether or not they’d be present in the rescheduled launch attempt on Saturday.
On Wednesday, when the astronauts had already made their way to the pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, thunder erupted in the area. Moments after they entered their capsule, a tornado warning was announced. Spacecraft Commander Hurley told the news outlet, “We could see some raindrops on the windows and just figured that whatever it was, was too close to the launch pad at the time we needed it not to be. Understand that everybody’s a little bummed out. That’s just part of the deal. We’ll do it again, I think, on Saturday.”
Both astronauts remained strapped to their seats until the fuel in their rocket’s fuel was unloaded and waited until they’ve disarmed the emergency escape system.
Bridenstine mentioned how unique this launch would be. He said, “Everybody can look up and say, ‘Look, the future is so much brighter than the present.’ And I really hope that this is an inspiration to the world.”
The launch will put Musk and SpaceX on the map. There are only three space-faring countries: Russia, the U.S., and China. SpaceX is seen as an independent institution.
In his interview with NASA before the postponement, Musk stated, “What today is about is reigniting the dream of space and getting people fired up about the future.” He commented on how he felt his responsibilities when he saw the families of the two astronauts. He told them, “We’ve done everything we can to make sure your dads come back okay.”
To cap it all off, Bridenstine said, “We’re doing it differently than we’ve ever done it before. We’re transforming how we do spaceflight in the future.”