After officially receiving the green light from NASA to move forward with the first crewed space launch from American soil since the Space Shuttle era nearly a decade ago, SpaceX spent the past several weeks preparing for what would be perhaps one of the most important space launches of the decade. The special day? Today – Wednesday, May 27th.
That is, if everything would have gone according to plan…
Image Credit: NASA
SpaceX went all out in an attempt to make this one of the most memorable space launches in recent memory. Months’ worth of teasers led up to the moment that the commercial space company would finally erect its famous reusable Falcon 9 rocket with the novel Crew Dragon capsule on the top at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Come today, the crewed rocket stood tall at the aforementioned launchpad with tens of thousands of anxious witnesses waiting to bear witness to this extraordinary moment. But then it happened… SpaceX humbly announced that it was being forced to stand down from its much-anticipated launch due to unfavorable weather conditions.
A doozy indeed, but not a total wash as SpaceX says it will have yet another window of opportunity to launch its crewed Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon capsule combo this coming Saturday, May 30th, at around approximately 4:22 P.M. Eastern time.
As you might come to expect, the launch delay was met with disappointment from avid rocket launch viewers, but the displeasure was equally met with wise advice from NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, who rightly addressed that the safety of the space agency’s crew members was its first prerogative, and that even to have reached this stage in commercial space partnerships was an amazing achievement.
While there isn’t much to be seen given the nature of a delayed space launch, Wednesday’s live stream is still available via NASA’s official YouTube channel, showcasing all the excitement leading up to what would have been an on-time launch:
While it’s indeed unfortunate that the launch didn’t happen as planned, the good news is that we don’t have to wait long before the next launch opportunity. Moreover, the next opportunity will be on a weekend when more people have the capability to watch it in real time.