(ORDO NEWS) — SpaceX was set to launch astronauts on Wednesday, thereby restoring NASA’s manned space flight program. But then the clouds came in.
The rocket was loaded and installed on the launch pad. Authorized persons carried out final checks to ensure that everything was ready for the launch, which was scheduled for 16:33 Eastern time. NASA astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley boarded. The mission was ready to start.
But just 17 minutes before the scheduled launch due to bad weather – especially thunderclouds and a strong electric field that can cause lightning strikes – over Cape Canaveral in Florida. Mission commanders canceled the launch.
“It wasn’t quite possible to do this,” said a meteorologist on the air of NASA.
He added that if they had 10 more minutes left, the conditions could change. But the launch window lasts only about one second due to the rapidly changing position of the International Space Station where the spacecraft would go.
However, when the launch pad crew leaked rocket fuel from the rocket, it became clear that the electric field would need at least 25 minutes to reach a safe level.
For several days, Cape Canaveral covered the storm; On Monday, more than 5 centimeters of rain fell in the area. On Tuesday, the weather forecast showed a 60 percent probability of launch, but by Wednesday morning the odds were 50-50.
SpaceX is a privately held rocket company founded by Elon Musk in 2002 – and NASA is now gearing up to launch a mission called Demo-2 at 3:22 pm ET on Saturday. If the launch is canceled again, they will have another opportunity on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The mission envisages that Benken and Hurley launch the SpaceX Crew Dragon into orbit after launching it with the Falcon 9 rocket, and then dock with the ISS, where they will spend up to 110 days before returning to Earth.
This launch is difficult, not only because it is a test flight with people on board, but also because the launch should occur when the space station more or less flies above the launch pad to use less fuel.
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