Over one million people tuned in Wednesday to watch the first launch of American astronauts from American soil in nearly a decade.
Using the hashtag “LaunchAmerica” viewers took to social media to pose their questions and leave comments for Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, veteran STS astronauts, as they sat inside the Crew Dragon atop the Falcon9 rocket.
For a better part of the day, everything looked green across the board for all systems save for one: weather concerns. It was hoped that as the countdown continued, the clouds would clear enough for a safe launch, allowing the crew to dock with the ISS tomorrow.
Sadly, with just under 20 minutes left until liftoff, as propellant was being loaded, the launch was scrubbed due to these same weather concerns.
Fear of lightning forced a postponement under complex NASA rules that prohibit a launch if the rocket is going to fly within 10 nautical miles of storm clouds. When rockets tear through certain types of clouds, a lightning strike can be generated which can cause damage to components aboard the spacecraft.
Typically, launches are scheduled with a backup date should a postponement become necessary, so Wednesday’s launch has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 1:22pm MST.
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