Spacex delayed its launch at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday (Picture: Reuters; AP; Getty)

SpaceX delays first US manned mission to space since 2011


SpaceX has postponed the launch of its first crewed rocket which was set to become the first manned mission to space in the US since 2011.

The private American aerospace manufacturing company founded by Elon Musk was scheduled to NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday evening, but inclement weather delayed the launch. It is now set for Saturday at 3:22 PM.

SpaceX and NASA began the ‘scrub sequence,’ which includes unloading the rocket’s propellant and the astronauts will disembark from the spacecraft.

The crew will be traveling to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon and they will be the first NASA astronauts to have launched from American soil since the Space Shuttle program folded nine years ago.

Wednesday’s postponed mission, dubbed Demo-2, was set to be SpaceX’s first foray into human spaceflight. It was reportedly attended by President Donald Trump, his wife Melania and Vice President Mike Pence.
Bob Behnken Doug Hurley board Dragon capsule. (Picture: Space X)
The manned SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew Dragon Demo-2 rocket vents oxygen after the launch was scrubbed due to weather at the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, (Picture: EPA)
This still image taken from NASA TV, shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on the Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A in Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 27 (Picture: AFP)

During Saturday’s launch, the SpaceX Crew Dragon will be propelled into the cosmos by a Falcon 9 rocket and will take more than a day to reach the International Space Station.

Both Behnken and Hurley have been to space before on the Space Shuttle. The pair of NASA astronauts have been in quarantine in May because of special precautions taken due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Behnken and Hurley are now set go back into quarantine until Saturday’s launch.

Once they have docked at the International Space Station, Hurley and Behnken will join NASA astronaut Chris Cassady and cosmonauts Antoly Ivishin and Ivan Vagner.

No date has been given for the crew of the SpaceX Crew Dragon.