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