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The Falcon 9 rocket at sunrise in Florida, May 27. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

SpaceX and NASA have postponed the company's first crewed flight from Cape Canaveral because of bad weather. The next launch opportunity could be as soon as Saturday.

Why it matters: If successful, the launch will be the first time a private company has sent people to orbit and the first crewed launch from the U.S. since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

The call to scrub the launch came down to the wire, at about 17 minutes to launch, with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken already loaded into the capsule and fueling of the rocket underway.

Details: Weather was always going to be a limiting factor for this launch.

  • The Crew Dragon comes equipped with an abort system that will propel the capsule away from a failing rocket, allowing it to splash down in the ocean and keeping the astronauts safe.
  • NASA and SpaceX, therefore, have to keep an eye on the weather and sea states down range as well as the weather around the launch site.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Sep 1, 2020 - Science

Why the private space industry embraces risk

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The space industry has always accepted some level of risk and failure, but as the commercial space industry matures, companies are using failure to their advantage to try to help their businesses succeed.

Why it matters: By taking on more risk and pushing their systems to the limits, space companies may be able to reach ambitious goals — like building a city on Mars or mining the Moon for resources.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Sep 1, 2020 - Science

Rocket scientist Tory Bruno's vision of the future

Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: NASA

United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno believes humanity's push to explore the solar system could one day reduce poverty on Earth.

Why it matters: ULA is the workhorse of the space industry, with a high rate of success for the rockets it flies and big government and commercial contracts. It is well-positioned to one day act as the ride for companies and nations hoping to push farther into deep space.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.