The launch was initially scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, at Cape Canaveral.
Crew Dragon is to send two American astronauts to the International space station from the Kennedy Space Center spaceport in Florida after a nine-year pause in NASA manned space flights.
The launch was scheduled for 16: 33 Eastern American summertime on Wednesday. However, the leadership of NASA and Elon Musk’s company initially did not rule out the possibility that the launch could be delayed due to weather conditions. In the area of the spaceport this afternoon, inclement weather was established, there were heavy rains, and meteorologists warned of the danger of tornadoes.
The countdown was stopped less than 17 minutes before the launch of the rocket from the spaceport.
“We are preparing for launch!” tweeted NASA chief Jim Bridenstine on Wednesday afternoon. However, he did not rule out that threatening storm clouds off the coast of Florida could lead to the postponement of the mission on Saturday.
SpaceX and NASA continue to track weather conditions and are already “counting down” time, Bridenstine added.
To deliver astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS will be a space capsule Crew Dragon with a Falcon 9 rocket. The Launch will be carried out from the same spaceport, which launched the last mission of the NASA Shuttle program in 2011.
Successful completion of the mission will help achieve the priority goal of NASA, outlined by the head of the aerospace Agency, Jim Bridenstine – “to resume flights of American astronauts from American territory.” For the past nine years, Americans have been delivered to orbit by Russian Soyuz capsules.
For Musk, this launch is another milestone on the way to producing reusable spaceships that will make spaceflight more affordable. Also, this will be the first time that Americans will go into orbit on a ship developed by a private company.
The last time NASA sent astronauts into space on a new spacecraft was 40 years ago when the Shuttle program began.
Hurley, 53, and Behnken, 49, are expected to spend several weeks on the ISS.
Aerospace giant Boeing, which competes with SpaceX in producing spacecraft for NASA, plans to launch its CST-100 Starliner capsule with astronauts on board for the first time next year.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX previously delivered only cargo to orbit.