The departure and return to Earth of a four-person space station crew on a SpaceX Dragon capsule has been postponed again by high winds in the splashdown zone in the Gulf of Mexico. NASA and SpaceX officials announced the Crew Dragon is now scheduled to undock from the International Space Station late Saturday for a predawn splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ferried a multinational crew into orbit at the break of dawn Friday with a spectacular sky-lighting launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, dazzling early risers along the East Coast with a flawless start to a planned six-month expedition on the International Space Station.
After a one-day delay to wait for improved conditions in the offshore abort zone, SpaceX and NASA launched four astronauts at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT) Friday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spaceship from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts docked with the International Space Station at 5:08 a.m. EDT (0908 GMT) Saturday for a planned six-month mission.
A second unpiloted test flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule — ordered after an initial demonstration mission fell short of reaching the International Space Station — is now scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in August or September, leaving little margin to conduct the spaceship’s first flight with astronauts before the end of the year.