Weather postpones first SpaceX, NASA Crew Dragon launch

SpaceX, NASA to launch Crew Dragon on May 27

Update 4:20 p.m. EDT May 27: The launch of a SpaceX rocket ship with two NASA astronauts on a history-making flight into orbit has been called off with 16 minutes to go in the countdown because of the danger of lightning.

Liftoff is rescheduled for Saturday.

Original story: After almost nine years, NASA is launching a manned American-made rocket from American soil, on a commercial spacecraft.

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Since the last flight of the space shuttle Atlantis, the U.S. has partnered with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to get Americans to and from the International Space Station. It costs our government $80 million per trip, NBC News reported. If successful, today’s launch will give America another way to get its astronauts to space.

Doug Hurley was the final pilot of NASA’s space shuttle program when the shuttle Atlantis blasted off on July 8, 2011. Wednesday, Hurley will return to space, this time joined by Bob Behnken on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule, NBC News reported.

Hurley and Behnken will take off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, the same pad that 11 of the Apollo missions blasted off from, including the Apollo 11 mission that conducted the first moon landing.

Then it will be a 19-hour trip to the International Space Station. They will live and work there from one to four months before returning to terra firma, Space.com reported.

The Falcon 9 was lifted into vertical launch position Tuesday, WFTV reported.

SpaceX isn’t the only company developing manned space travel offered by a commercial company. NASA also is funding a project by Boeing for its CST-100 Starliner. Boeing will hold a second uncrewed test flight this year after an issue with a timer prevented the capsule from getting to the correct orbit last year, NBC News reported.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen on the launch pad, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX plans to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This will be the first astronaut launch from Florida in nearly a decade, and a first for a private company. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen on the launch pad, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX plans to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This will be the first astronaut launch from Florida in nearly a decade, and a first for a private company. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP) (NASA/Joel Kowsky/AP)

The Associated Press contributed to this story.