27 May 2020 News

SpaceX historic Demo-2 launch delayed by weather

A gloomy day in Cape Canaveral today, as unfavourable weather conditions mean a delay to SpaceX's first crewed launch.
A gloomy day in Cape Canaveral today, as unfavourable weather conditions mean a delay to SpaceX's first crewed launch.

Today's weather was not on SpaceX’s side.

With just 17 minutes to go, the launch that would have propelled Elon Musk and his Crew Dragon capsule into the history books had to be scrapped due to ominous weather conditions.

"We continue to violate a couple different weather rules that we now do not expect to clear in time to allow for a launch today," SpaceX launch director Mike Taylor said before the planned liftoff. "We’re going to go ahead and end today’s launch attempt."

Early reports of unfavourable weather conditions started circulating a couple of days before lift off, with forecasts suggesting that extensive cloudiness, significant rains and isolated thunderstorms might put a dampener on the days proceedings.

By 26th May, the weather was still only 60 percent favourable for a launch day on the 27th.

Despite the gloomy weather prospects, the pre-launch sequences proceeded as planned and with 30 minutes to go Crew Dragon’s launch escape system was armed while rocket grade kerosene and liquid oxygen for the 1st and 2nd stages of the Falcon 9 rocket were loaded on aboard.

However as Demo-2 was scheduled as an instantaneous launch, it meant there was no room to postpone until later, not even 5 minutes later. Officials at the launch pad commented during the live stream that if a delay of only 10 minutes was possible, the launch would probably be good to go.

But, in the end, the cloudy conditions were cause enough to scrub the mission and put an end to SpaceX’s ambitions, for today anyway.

“Standing down from launch today due to unfavorable weather in the flight path. Our next launch opportunity is Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC,” wrote SpaceX via Twitter.

Veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will now have to wait a few more days to fly to the International Space Station in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

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