The planned return of astronauts to space from U.S. soil after nine years by California’s SpaceX was scrubbed Wednesday because of poor weather at Cape Canaveral.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley was scheduled to launch at 1:33 p.m. Pacific time, carrying the two in a Crew Dragon capsule to a rendezvous with the International Space Station.
The mission was canceled 17 minutes before launch, and will be attempted again on Saturday afternoon.
“This is a unique moment where all of America can take a moment and look at our country do something stunning again, and that is launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine before the launch attempt.
Astronauts haven’t launched into space from American soil since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011. Traveling to the International Space Station is now done aboard Russian Soyuz rockets launched from Kazakhstan.
SpaceX conducted a successful unmanned test flight of the Crew Dragon capsule in March 2019.