The crew of SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4, will have to wait just a little longer to go into space as the mission launch has been delayed by a day.
The launch date had originally been set for Wednesday, September 15 UTC (Tuesday, September 14 EDT). But this has now been pushed back by 24 hours to a launch window opening at midnight on Thursday, September 16 UTC (8:00 p.m. ET on September 15) to allow more time for preparations.
In a statement, SpaceX said the crew had arrived in Florida following their final day of training in California. The Dragon spacecraft was also moved to its launch location, arriving at Launch Complex 39A on Kennedy Space Center and being fitted to the Falcon 9 rocket which will launch it.
“After arrival, the teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 also met yesterday evening for a follow-on flight readiness review and an initial weather briefing,” SpaceX wrote. “After evaluating the readiness of the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft, associated ground systems, recovery assets and other key elements of SpaceX’s human spaceflight system, and the current weather forecasts of conditions at the launch site, along the ascent corridor, and at the landing locations off the coasts of Florida for a safe return of the crew a few days later, teams agreed to now target no earlier than 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 15 for liftoff. This will allow additional time for final preparations, vehicle checkouts, and data reviews.”
The company also said it would pin down and announce an exact time launch three days before liftoff.
The mission has attracted considerable public attention, buoyed by a Netflix documentary that is following along with the crew as they prepare for the mission. Not all the episodes of the documentary are out yet, and the producers say they are planning to make at least one episode after the crew returns from the mission.
If you’d like to see how the crew fare live as it happens, then the launch and the early stages of the mission will be livestreamed by SpaceX. To learn all the details and to find out where to watch along, head over to our guide on how to watch the SpaceX Inspiration 4 launch live.
- Astronaut shows off views from ISS module after Crew Dragon success
- NASA reveals landing site for its water-hunting lunar rover
- All-civilian SpaceX crew took this out-of-this-world selfie
- Watch the best bits from SpaceX’s historic all-civilian mission
- SpaceX Inspiration4 civilian crew land safely off Florida coast