Elon Musk’s private rocket company SpaceX will aim to go ahead with its failed attempt to send two astronauts into orbit today, which was delayed on Wednesday due to poor weather. The launch will see NASA astronauts launch into orbit from US soil for the first time in nine years.
The mission’s original launch attempt on Wednesday, May 27 at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral was called off with just 17 minutes to go due to stormy weather.
But today astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will again step inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 to be launched on a 19-hour ride to the International Space Station.
The pair will be launched into orbit inside the Crew Dragon capsule, making its first flight into orbit with humans aboard.
The launch pad is the same one used by NASA’s final space shuttle flight, piloted by Hurley, in 2011.
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Since then, NASA astronauts have had to hitch rides into orbit aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.
The last time NASA launched astronauts into space aboard a brand new vehicle was 40 years ago at the start of the shuttle program.
Libby Jackson, human exploration programme manager at the UK Space Agency has said the work done by NASA and SpaceX is a “major milestone for the global space sector.”
Express.co.uk bring you a guide on everything you need to know about the launch and how you can watch online on Saturday, May 30.
What time is SpaceX and NASA launch in the UK today?
The SpaceX launch was rescheduled to Saturday, May 30 after its original launch on May 27 was cancelled.
Space fans in the UK can watch the liftoff, scheduled to take place at 8.22pm UK time.
NASA TV will begin coverage at 11am on the US-based space agency’s YouTube channel.
British astronaut Tim Peake offered his own advice on how to watch the rocket, saying it will be visible if you look south-west.
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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take off from launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre.
The rocket will carry the Crew Dragon spacecraft, where astronauts Hurley, 53, and Behnken, 49, will be strapped in.
After two minutes, the rocket will separate into the first stage and second stage.
The first stage will see SpaceX’s landing ship return to Earth in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s coast.
The second stage will carry on with the Crew Dragon, but once it is in orbit it will separate from the second stage and travel towards the space station.
Weather forecasts for Saturday are touch and go again, meaning the launch the evening is at risk of being cancelled.
If the mission is forced to be delayed again, the next launch window would be Sunday afternoon.
Forecasts are currently appearing somewhat more favourable for Sunday.
But NASA astronaut Nicole Mann said her colleagues are unflustered by the potential for further delay.
She said: “There are plenty of things in life you can’t control, the weather being one of them.
“You need just to remain flexible, not to waste any energy on those things you can’t control. And then do what you need to do: prepare, and then when it’s time for the next launch opportunity, you know you’re ready to go.”
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