Historic NASA-SpaceX launch postponed over windy weather

A historic joint space launch between NASA and Elon Musk’s company SpaceX that was scheduled for Saturday has been postponed until Sunday because of winds, a NASA official said Friday.

The mission, dubbed “Crew-1,” will rocket four astronauts to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The mission will be the culmination of a NASA program that has sought to send astronauts to the space station using vessels and equipment developed by private companies. In this case, the vessel was developed by SpaceX, the space exploration company founded by Elon Musk.

The mission will also bring manned space launches back to the US for the first time in nearly a decade. Since the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011, the US has relied on Russian spacecraft to rocket American astronauts into space.

Sunday’s launch will hopefully be the start of regular crew rotations from American soil using private companies for lifts to the space station. The crew is expected to stay in space for about six months after making the eight-hour journey to the space station.

The launch was scheduled for Saturday evening, but postponed late Friday due to bad weather, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement on Twitter.

“Update: Due to onshore winds and recovery operations, @NASA and @SpaceX are targeting launch of the Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the @Space_Station at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15. The first stage booster is planned to be reused to fly astronauts on Crew-2. #LaunchAmerica,” he wrote.

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