NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley lifted off in the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Weather at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is to blame for the postponement.
"We're launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil". That will be the first time astronauts will have landed this way since 1975, before the days of the Space Shuttle program.
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The preparations took place in the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed an estimated 100,000 Americans. (NASDAQ: TSLA) had said following the launch.
"Let's light this candle", Hurley said just before ignition, borrowing the historic words used by Alan Shepard on America's first human spaceflight, in 1961. The space agency then pays for its astronauts to ride aboard. Accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, she brought face masks and a small tent to protect against the elements.
The two men are scheduled to arrive Sunday at the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, for a stay of up to four months, after which they will come home with a Right Stuff-style splashdown at sea, something the world hasn't witnessed since the 1970s. "It's exciting and hopeful".
SpaceX's Dragon aced all of its objectives, while Boeing's Starliner capsule ended up in the wrong orbit and was nearly destroyed because of software errors. Contrary to the usual NASA procedure, SpaceX fueled up the Falcon 9 after the two astronauts had already boarded the Dragon. Boeing's spaceship, the Starliner capsule, is not expected to fly astronauts until early 2021. "We're transforming how we do spaceflight in the future".