#NASA; #HistoricLaunchOfSpaceXRocket; #InternationalSpaceStation
Washington, May 27 (Canadian-Media): The schedule of Space veterans Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to ride into orbit March 27 aboard the brand-new Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket, taking off for the International Space Station had been postponed till Saturday due to bad weather, media reports said.
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken, wearing SpaceX spacesuits, are seen as they depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building for Launch Complex 39A during a dress rehearsal prior to the Demo-2 mission launch, Saturday, May 23, 2020. Image credit: NASA/ Bill Ingalls
This launch would have placed Elon Musk's SpaceX in the same league as Russia, the United States and China, which sent astronauts into orbit in that order.
NASA pushed ahead with the launch despite the pandemic, but asked spectators to stay at home to lower the risk of spreading the virus.
As the convoy of vehicles made its way toward the rocket, thunder could be heard rumbling and a tornado warning was issued moments after the astronauts climbed into their capsule.
U.S. President Donald Trump flew in for the liftoff, where the guest list was exceedingly limited because of the pandemic.
Space centre tours were on tap, with Bridenstine as their escort.
Hours before the event, cars and RVs were already lining the causeway in Cape Canaveral, with prime views of the pad.
The last time astronauts launched from Florida was on NASA's final space shuttle flight in July 2011 with Hurley as the pilot of that mission.
SpaceX and Boeing were hired by NASA in 2014 to transport astronauts to the orbiting space station, after commercial cargo shipments had taken off.
Bridenstine had said that NASA astronauts have flown on brand new types of rockets just four times in the history of the country: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle. A commercial crew capsule will now be the fifth.