CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami) – Hours after Wednesday’s flight was scrubbed, NASA explained why these ominous clouds over the launch pad posed too much of a risk.
“We had simply too much electricity in the atmosphere. There wasn’t really a lightning storm or anything like that,” explained NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “But there was a concern that if we did launch it could actually trigger lightning.”
Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are now preparing for round two. They were already on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon, set to lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket, when they got word of the scrub. There were less than 17 minutes on the countdown clock.
The astronauts will say goodbye to their families again on Saturday and be back in their seats for another attempt. If this one is a go, it will be the first time in history a private company sends NASA astronauts into orbit.
Ever since the last shuttle mission in 2011, Americans have had to ride Russian rockets to the International Space Station. Using Elon Musk’s SpaceX for transportation, they will finally end the U.S. drought.
Crowds had gathered to watch the launch. Some of them tossing social distancing to the wind. All of them hoping to see history made.
“Even though the launch didn’t happen, it was nice kind of just seeing people just being good to each other and all just getting behind a central cause,” said spectator Lance Charles.
President Donald Trump was among the disappointed spectators, but says he’ll be back in Florida on Saturday for the second attempt.
Once they lift off, the astronauts will arrive at the space station in about 24 hours. NASA has not determined yet how long they will stay.