SpaceX launch postponed by weather, rescheduled for Saturday

Bad weather thwarted the much-anticipated launch of SpaceX’s first astronaut crew Wednesday, a flight that would have marked the return of human spaceflight from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were scheduled to lift off aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station at 4:33 p.m. ET, but cloudy 
conditions forced launch operators to stand down less than 20 minutes to go in the countdown.The Air Force's 45th Space Wing, which oversees space launch operations from the East Coast, had been closely monitoring weather reports at the launch site after Tropical Storm Bertha 
formed early Wednesday off the coast of South Carolina. SpaceX and NASA will now attempt the test flight to the International Space Station on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET.The historic launch will be the first time that NASA astronauts have flown to the orbiting lab in a commercially built spacecraft. It will also be the first time that human passengers are launched into orbit from the U.S. since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011.

"Our country has been through a lot," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday in a news briefing. "But this is a unique moment when all of America can take a moment and look at our country do something stunning again, and that is to launch American astronauts on an American rocket from American soil to the space station."Shortly before 3 p.m. ET, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at the Kennedy Space Center, flying past the launch pad aboard Air Force One. According to NASA, the last time a sitting president flew to Florida to witness a crewed launch in person was Bill Clinton, who watched the space shuttle Discovery blast off in October 1998.

If the Crew Dragon capsule successfully lifts off on Saturday, Behnken and Hurley will spend around 19 hours orbiting the Earth before their capsule makes its rendezvous with the space station.

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