On Wednesday, a planned mission to the international space station was aborted by NASA due to bad weather. This delayed a historic event that was going to mark the first crewed launch from US soil in almost a decade.
A Crew Dragon capsule was built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX which is a company based in California. It aimed a view of taking off at 9.33 pm UK time. Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were in the Crew Dragon capsule. Unfortunately, this mission had to be called off 17 minutes before the launch time.
The fuelling of the Falcon 9 rocket which carried the capsule had begun. Later the decision was taken to cancel this mission due to the cloudy skies and rain. This launch will be attempted again on Saturday afternoon, the team is all set. There will be another backup time on Sunday.
It was expected that the weather would clear 10 min before the launch at Florida’s Kennedy Space center but the only possible launch window was ” instantaneous”, due to the movements o of the space stations. Any delay in launching would have meant cancellation of the mission.
There were no technical issues identified on the spacecraft and the countdown was smooth.
Those two astronauts who had boarded the spacecraft sat in there for two hours ahead of the launch time in their suits. Mission control thanked the two astronauts for their resilience.
Mr. Hurley made an announcement that they could see raindrops on the windows and figured that whatever that was, it was so close to the launchpad at a time when they needed it not to be.
This mission was going to be the first crewed launch for SpaceX and for NASA’s commercial crew programme. NASA’s commercial crew programme partners with private contractors to send astronauts to the ISS.
At some point of time Rocket launchers used to be nation-states’ preserves. But with launch, it is going to be first in a new era of commercial flight. In this, private companies will develop the technology to be sent to space with astronauts. It aims to open this up for the general public.
Last time, in 2011, Us space agency had sent people to ISS . After then it relied on Russia’s space programme to take its crews to and from the station. This cost as much as $86m (£70m) each time. It hopes the commercial crew programme will cut the price for initial launches to $55m.
Before the launch, entrepreneur and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said the event was “a dream come true”. He also stated that the Falcon 9 was “a well-proven rocket”.
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US President Donald Trump had travelled on Air Force One to watch the event. It was also attended by vice-president Mike Pence.
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