SpaceX Had Successful Launch After Postponement Due to Bad Weather

SpaceX had successful launch after postponement due to bad offshore weather
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon space capsule lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Sp...

On Friday, SpaceX successfully launched four astronauts into orbit, after they had postponed the launch from Thursday due to dangerously high waves and wind offshore.

Liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was set for an hour before sunrise on Friday, when better weather was expected.

In the event of an emergency, the SpaceX Dragon capsule has the ability of aborting the mission all the way to orbit. That is why, besides the launch site in Florida, pleasant weather is needed all the way up the East Coast and across the North Atlantic to Ireland.

“Although the weather is probably going to look great here at the launch site, we’re worried about those downrange winds and wave heights in case of an abort,” said Kennedy’s director, Robert Cabana, on Wednesday.

The weather on Friday was admissible, and the SpaceX Falcon 9 with the Crew Dragon space capsule successfully lifted off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

NASA’s astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, joined by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Akihiko Hoshide from Japan, will spend six months at the International Space Station.

This is SpaceX’s third astronaut flight for NASA in less than a year. Since the shuttle program closed, NASA turned to private contractors to transport not only supplies but also astronauts to the space station. SpaceX began transporting cargo in 2012 and launched its first crew in May of this year.

After years of demonstrating the capability on station delivery runs, it was the first time SpaceX reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA. The rocket was used on the company’s second astronaut flight last November.

Embracing the trend, spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough and his crew wrote their initials in the rocket’s soot several weeks ago, aiming to establish a tradition.

“If you have rapid and complete reusability, then that is the gateway to the heavens. That’s what we’re trying to get done, and the support of NASA makes a tremendous difference,” Elon Musk said after the launch.

Flying in a recycled capsule, Megan McArthur, a NASA astronaut, had a sense of déjàvu. She lifted off in the same seat in the same spacecraft as her husband, Bob Behnken, on SpaceX’s first crew mission. This time, it was Behnken and their 7-year-old son waving farewell. McArthur blew kisses and gave virtual embraces.

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Several hours after the launch, SpaceX was informed of a piece of space junk that might come dangerously close to the capsule. As a precaution, flight controllers instructed the astronauts to put on their spacesuits and lower their visors.

“We don’t know what the object was or how big it was, but it did not come close to Dragon,” said NASA spokesperson Rob Navias.

On Saturday morning, the capsule slowly positioned itself and pulled in to dock directly at one of the space station’s ports.

Kimbrough, McArthur, Pesquet, and Hoshide joined seven other astronauts on board the station, four of whom arrived in November in a different SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. This takes the overall number of people on board the station to 11 — one of the biggest crews the ISS has ever hosted.

However, that number would soon come down to seven, as four of the astronauts on board return home from the station on April 28. Splashdown will take place in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tallahassee, Florida.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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