As millions tuned in to watch SpaceX and NASA launch the first crewed flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, the launch was aborted.
With 16 minutes 53 seconds on the clock, NASA and SpaceX called for the launch to be aborted due to adverse weather conditions.
“Unless you can give us another 10 minutes I don’t think we’re going to get there with any of the rules today,” a mission operator said to the crew aboard the awaiting rocket.
“16:45 local and I think we’ll be clear on all the rules,” the operator said.
But waiting 10 minutes was not a possibility as the launch window was instantaneous. This means that Crew Dragon would have to be launched at exactly 16:33 EDT in order for it to rendezvous with the International Space Station.
As such the launch was scrubbed we now look to the 30th May at 15:22 EDT (21:22 CAT) for the next launch window.
“I know there’s a lot of disappointment today. The weather got us,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement, “But it was a great day for NASA. It was a great day for SpaceX. Our teams worked together in a really impressive way, making good decisions all along.”
Bizarrely, the administrator said that there was a concern that if a launch did go ahead given the conditions it could trigger lightning.
“We made the right decision,” said Bridenstine.
While it’s disappointing that the launch was delayed it’s probably a good thing if it could have caused lightning around a tube containing volatile fuel.
The broadcast for the launch on Saturday begins at 17:00 CAT and we recommend checking the NASA YouTube page for that stream.[Source – NASA]