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SpaceX Astronaut Launch Postponed Due to Bad Weather

The rocket was fueled and sitting on the launchpad. Officials had conducted final reviews to make sure everything was ready for liftoff, which was scheduled for 4:33 p.m. ET. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were suited up on board. The mission was a go.

But just 17 minutes before the scheduled liftoff, bad weather — specifically thunderstorm anvil clouds and a strong electric field that could produce lightning strikes — made the skies above Cape Canaveral, Florida, unsafe. The mission commanders called off the launch.

“We continue to violate a couple different weather rules that we now do not expect to clear in time to allow for a launch today,” SpaceX launch director Mike Taylor said about 20 minutes before the planned liftoff. “We’re going to go ahead and end today’s launch attempt.”

The launch had attracted a full cadre of VIPs, with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump both flying down to Florida to watch the mission in person. Several members of Elon Musk’s family had joined him in the mission control room to watch, as well.

The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing is giving a 60% probability of favorable weather on Saturday.

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