Why last night’s space launch was cancelled and when they’ll try again


The first ever space launch by a private company was postponed yesterday – just minutes before it was due to take-off.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was set to make history on Wednesday, carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken from Florida to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft would have been visible from the UK, but the threat of tropical storms and tornados forced NASA to pull the plug and halt the launch less than 17 minutes before lift-off.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine stated there was “simply too much electricity in the atmosphere” for the launch to proceed.

He added: “I know there is a lot of disappointment today. The weather got us.”

The space crew will try the launch again on Saturday 30 May at 15:22 local time (20:22 GMT) – when weather conditions are expected to improve – and it may still be visible from the UK.

There is another launch window on Sunday should anything hamper a second attempt.

Astronaut Bob Benhken said on Twitter: “I’m so proud of the NASA and SpaceX team today, they were ready for launch. @Astro_Doug and I will be ready with them again on Saturday! #LauchAmerica

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