SpaceX Rocket Ready To Blast-Off With 2 Astronauts, Trump To Attend Event


But why is weather so important to launches? Two hours before launch, the weather forecast at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida was about 40% favorable.

Today's historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission is happening at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

No technical hiccups were recorded prior to the flight, with Behnken and Hurley already suited up in their SpaceX spacesuits and strapped into the Crew Dragon spacecraft a few minutes ahead of schedule.

The timing of the launch window was crucial in order for the astronauts to dock with the space station as its orbit carried it overhead in Florida.

In a spaceship built by Elon Musk's California-based company SpaceX, astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre at 9.33pm United Kingdom time. Launch director Mike Taylor told them he was monitoring a large collection of heavy clouds moving east from Orlando, that he said would be the "decision gate" for a final go-no go call before fuelling is set to begin about 3.45pm.

"Our country has been through a lot", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday in a news briefing.

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This would have been the first time that a private company had ferried people into orbit, but NASA and SpaceX feared that weather conditions may have posed a risk to crew and equipment during launch.

Musk, wearing a mask and keeping his distance, chatted with the two NASA astronauts just before they left for the launch pad.

His comments come a day after SpaceX was forced to delay the landmark launch of its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station over inclement weather. During the test flight, the astronauts will make sure all the systems work before NASA certifies the spacecraft to regularly transport its astronauts to the space station. 'We'll see it fifteen minutes after it launches in America, around 9.51 and onwards, over Britain'.

NASA has assigned two of its most experienced astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, to the upcoming SpaceX mission.

Fears of thunderstorms in the skies above Florida forced controllers to stop the mission, which would have been the first by the USA since the Space Shuttle programme was ended in 2011. "But these rules are in place to protect not just the vehicle, but all launch personnel, cargo, spectators, and, of course, the astronauts". President Donald Trump joins soon after, while Hurley and Behnken traveled to the launch site in a Tesla Model X (Tesla being another company Musk founded).

"Yes, a launch delayed because of weather is disappointing and can often be confusing as everything can appear flawless", the blog said.