NASA astronauts are slated to launch a rocket to the International Space Station Wednesday afternoon, marking the first manned space mission since the shuttle program was retired in 2011.
The launch is scheduled for 4:33 pm Eastern. However, Florida weather forecasts called for possible rain; also, as The New York Times points out, weather along the ocean pathway where the astronauts would have to splash down in case of emergency also needs to be clear before takeoff is a go — and a tropical storm off the coast of South Carolina might also scrub the launch.
UPDATE: NASA and SpaceX called off the launch Wednesday, citing inclement weather. The next attempt will take place Saturday at 3:22 pm Eastern, with Sunday at 3 pm as a backup.
The Falcon 9 rocket and its Crew Dragon capsule was built by SpaceX, a private company owned by Elon Musk, which will serve as ground control for the endeavor. NASA astronauts Douglas G. Hurley and Robert L. Behnken are the duo traveling in the rocket; they will launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission will be the first time that SpaceX will transport people, and not cargo, to outer space.
In case of a postponement, NASA and SpaceX might try again on Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
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