SpaceX launch canceled – how to watch Saturday's liftoff live stream
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Wednesday's SpaceX launch was scrubbed 17 minutes inside the launch window due to weather. Saturday is the next attempt.
The SpaceX launch was canceled on Wednesday due to weather concerns, and now the liftoff live stream has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 30 at 3:22pm EDT. We'll be carrying the SpaceX live stream here over the weekend.
"The weather got us," admitted NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine in a 30-second Twitter video. "I know there was a lot of disappointment today."
Bridenstine went on to explain the reasoning behind what we all saw: the SpaceX launch was scrubbed just 17 minutes inside the launch window, with NASA hanging on until the last minutes in an effort to save its efforts. The weather didn't care.
NASA has strict weather rules for clearing spacecraft launches and noted that three weather violations existed, including the chance of the craft triggering 'natural lightning'. If they would have been able to wait ten minutes beyond the countdown, they could have cleared those three violations, according to SpaceX and NASA officials.
Waiting even ten minutes wasn't an option, though. This launch was what's known as an 'instantaneous launch window', meaning due orbital mechanics a delay wasn't possible if the crew wanted to get to the International Space Station (ISS) on time and lock in accurately. Blame Newtown's law of universal gravity, if you'd like.
The good news is that everything technical with the SpaceX craft and NASA crew was 'go for liftoff' on Wednesday when the hatch door successfully closed. So as long as this weekend's weather cooperates and doesn't trigger NASA's risk calculations, the mission will happen on Saturday. Weather was the only concern, according to NASA during the live stream wrap-up.
This delayed SpaceX Demo-2 mission remains historic, as it's happening at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It's the first such launch on US soil in nearly a decade – since NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011. It's also the first time that a SpaceX reusable spacecraft will be sending NASA astronauts into space. It's the birth of commercially-backed human space travel.
The destination of this SpaceX launch is the International Space Station (ISS) for a one- to four-month duration for NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, according to our friends over at Space.com.
You, of course, may have more questions. What time is the SpaceX live streaming starting in your region of the world on Saturday now that it's been cancelled for Wednesday? What happened during the whole prep process (and will likely happen again on Saturday)? And who are the two NASA astronauts?
We have all of those answers below, as we wait for the SpaceX countdown – again.