NASA reported on Wednesday that its highly anticipated SpaceX Crew-2 launch to the International Space Station (ISS) is postponed.
Initially scheduled to liftoff Thursday morning at 6:11 a.m. ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, office leaders affirmed Wednesday that the event is currently focused for 5:49 a.m. ET on Friday.
The postponement, NASA clarified in a release, is because of unfavorable weather conditions that were conjecture along the flight way for Thursday.
The spacecraft is expected to dock at the space station at around 5:10 a.m. ET on Saturday.
At a Tuesday prelaunch news conference, U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron Launch Weather Officer Brian Cizek said that downrange weather and winds were the agency’s greatest concern.
On Wednesday at NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 administrator briefing, Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana clarified that they were “worried” about downrange winds and wave heights in case of an “abort” mission.
“It’s going to be absolutely beautiful on Friday morning and we’re gonna come out and do it again,” he said.
Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) SS Manager Junichi Sakai and European Space Agency (ESA) ISS Program Manager Frank de Winne were likewise in participation.
The Crew Dragon Endeavor – the second crew rotation on a commercial spacecraft mission and the first with two international partner astronauts – incorporates NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese space explorer Akihiko Hoshide and French space traveler Thomas Pesquet.
Their journey aboard the ISS is scheduled to keep going for a half year.
“As Bob mentioned, we’ve got some inclement weather offshore. Unlike a robotic mission where we just really need to focus on weather here at the launch site, for a crewed mission we need to look downrange and make sure our weather’s good for a potential launch escape and recovery of the crew,” Jurczyk remarked. ” And so, we’ll be scheduled to go on Friday.”
Jurczyk said he met with the team individuals on Tuesday night and they are “ready to go.”
“I could not be more proud of the Commerical Crew program and the SpaceX team and the NASA team. And, what they’ve been able to do to enable reliable, safe, effective transportation to and from [the] station,” he concluded. “Third launch in less than a year. Demo-2, Crew-1 and now Crew-2 and looking forward to a great launch on Friday and bringing Crew-1 home next week.”
Inclusion of prelaunch activities, the launch and docking will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s app and website.