SPACEFLIGHT

SpaceX, NASA launch: new date and why it has been postponed

SpaceX and NASA's historic flight to the International Space Station was postponed on Wednesday, with the next launch window opening on Saturday.

SpaceX, NASA launch: new date and why it has been postponed
JOEL KOWSKY AFP

SpaceX and NASA will try again on Saturday afternoon after the launch of their historic spaceflight was postponed due to bad weather on Wednesday.

No commercial company has carried humans into Earth orbit

The mission, called Demo-2, is set to make Elon Musk's SpaceX the first private aerospace company to take humans into Earth's orbit, as it carries NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.

It will also be the first manned spaceflight to take off from the United States in almost a decade, since NASA’s Space Shuttle programme was retired in 2011.

Since then, NASA has had to send its astronauts to Russia to travel on Soyuz spacecraft - at a reported cost cost of as much as $86m a seat.

Launch scrubbed minutes before 16:33 lift-off

SpaceX's Falcon 9 was slated to lift off at 16:33 EDT on Wednesday from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, but the weather conditions in Florida forced launch officials to scrub the attempt 17 minutes before its take-off time.

Next launch window: 15:22 on Saturday

The next launch window opens up at 15:22 EDT on Saturday, it has been confirmed. There is also a back-up launch window on Sunday, starting at 15:00 EDT.