What time is Saturday’s launch — SpaceX/NASA launch

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley left and Robert Behnken wave as they walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will take off from the launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft where Mr Behnken, 49, and Mr Hurley, 53, will be strapped in.

Even as ominous weather threatened to delay the mission, two astronauts were strapped into a capsule as they prepared to be carried into orbit on Wednesday by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's private rocket company SpaceX in the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from US soil in nine years.

"There wasn't really a lightning storm or anything like that, but there was a concern that if we did launch it could trigger lightning".

"I know there was a lot of disappointment", he said. "The weather got us". This is not something I ever thought would happen.

"We have a lot to look forward to".

"We'll try, try again to #LaunchAmerica on Saturday with liftoff at 3:22pm ET [1922GMT]", he said.

The delay means a wait of at least a few more days for the first crewed launch on an American rocket since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

'When we run up against the limits of reality, VR is going to make our reality that much better, ' he said.

Who are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley?

Before exiting the Crew Dragon capsule, Mr Hurley, who is the commander of the spacecraft, said: "We could see some raindrops on the windows and just figured that whatever it was, was too close to the launch pad at the time we needed it not to be".

"Understand that everybody's probably a little bit bummed out. That's just part of the deal".

It should be possible to see the spacecraft from the United Kingdom shortly after lift-off, according to British astronaut Tim Peake.

Saturday's launch of the Demo-2 mission will be the first time a private company, rather than a national government, sends astronauts into orbit.

The astronauts are scheduled to blast off from the same launch pad used in 2011 by NASA's final space shuttle flight, piloted by Hurley. Since that time, Atwell has followed his dreams and has covered events dealing with NASA's Commercial Crew flight assignments at NASA's Johnson Space Center and other space-related events in the Lone Star State.

That's when the space station will be in the desired place relative to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Demo-2's launch site, explained Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of mission assurance. SpaceX headquarters reports that the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule are technically sound and all systems are "go for launch".

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