NASA says its milestone crew launch scheduled to take place on Saturday has been delayed by one day due to a couple of factors. The launch will involve SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station. This is a big moment for both NASA and SpaceX, marking the first time astronauts have been launched for crew rotation from US soil since 2011.
This is a historic launch for NASA, one that will take place under its Commercial Crew program. Years of work have led to this moment with both SpaceX and Boeing designing vehicles that NASA can use to ship astronauts into space. This is an important step for NASA’s renewed manned space ambitions — the big milestone of which will be the Artemis program’s eventual success in sending astronauts back to the Moon.
SpaceX and NASA have already sent two astronauts to the ISS using the private company’s Crew Dragon, but that was done under its Demo-2 demonstration mission. The Crew-1 mission scheduled to launch this weekend will be the first official crew mission launched from US soil in nearly a decade.
In an announcement this evening, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed on Twitter that the Florida launch was scrapped because of wind and offshore recovery operations. The launch was scheduled to happen on Saturday, November 14, but now it is scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 15, at 3:15PM EST.
Bridenstine notes in his tweet that the reusable first stage booster used for the Crew-1 launch will also be used for the future manned Crew-2 launch. SpaceX has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to land and reuse rockets, an innovation that reduces costs and speeds up the rate of launches.