NASA and SpaceX forced to cancel launch due to poor weather conditions


NASA and SpaceX have been forced to cancel today's historic launch, due to poor weather conditions.

SpaceX was set to launch two astronauts into space tonight - the first step on the path to landing on Mars.

Two NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, were to take off from Florida - the first spaceflight to take off from the US in nine years.

But poor weather conditions have forced NASA to reschedule the flight until Saturday.

In a blog about the cancellation, NASA said: "NASA and SpaceX have scrubbed today’s launch attempt of the Demo-2 test flight to the International Space Station with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley due to unfavorable weather conditions around Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A SpaceX rocket test in action ahead of today's crewed launch (Image: Space X/Twitter)

"SpaceX will begin removing propellant from the Falcon 9 rocket and then the astronauts will exit the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

"Launch coverage will continue until the crew has left the pad for Astronaut Crew Quarters."

The next launch attempt will now take place at 15:22 EDT (20:22 BST) on Saturday, May 30.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, tweeted: "No launch for today - safety for our crew members @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken is our top priority.

"We'll try, try again to #LaunchAmerica on Saturday with liftoff at 3:22pm ET."

Questions were raised about the weather conditions earlier in the day by several journalists at the launch.

BBC's Jane O'Brien tweeted a photo of a storm over the launch site, writing: "Astronauts are now onboard #CrewDragon - but look what’s heading their way! We’re being told to take cover."

US President Donald Trump also arrived on Air Force One with an umbrella in hand, indicating the conditions weren't great.

Meanwhile, ahead of today's launch attempt, the US Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predicted a 60% change of unfavourable weather conditions for the mission.

Mike McAleenan, 45th Weather Squadron Launch Weather Officer, said: “It certainly has been trending better over the last day or two for launch weather. If I was to issue the forecast today, right now, we would probably be down to 40% chance of violation.”