This is not a test anymore.
is looking to make International Space Station astronaut transfers a normal part of
operations with the Crew-1 mission -- its first crew rotation flight -- Sunday, Nov. 15. The launch, originally scheduled for Saturday, got pushed back due to onshore winds and potential problems with recovery operations.
SpaceX's groundbreaking Demo-2 mission delivered two NASA astronauts safely to the ISS in May. It was both harrowing and exciting as actual humans tested out Crew Dragon for the first time. Crew-1 will follow in the footsteps of that successful mission with a launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted news of the launch delay on Friday. Weather needs to be good not only at the launch site, but also out on the water where astronauts would land in case of a launch emergency.
Crew-1 will carry Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, plus Soichi Noguchi of Japanese space agency JAXA, to the station for a six-month stay. The crew named the spacecraft "Resilience."
NASA will livestream the launch on Sunday and will provide continuous coverage of the mission, including docking, the hatch opening and the welcome ceremony. Lift-off is targeted for 4:27 p.m. PT, though coverage will begin sooner.
The launch had already been nudged back from an earlier date due to a technical issue with some of the Falcon 9 rocket engines during a previous launch attempt for a US Space Force GPS satellite mission.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he may have COVID-19 on Friday, but there's no indication yet if this might impact the Crew Dragon launch. The astronauts have been in quarantine leading up to launch.
NASA announced Crew Dragon as "the first new crew spacecraft to be NASA-certified for regular flights with astronauts since the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago" in a statement on Tuesday. SpaceX tweeted dramatic photos showing Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 vertical on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center earlier in the week.
SpaceX and Boeing are partners with NASA in the agency's Commercial Crew Program, an effort to bring astronaut launches to the ISS back to US soil after years of relying on Russian spacecraft. Crew-1 is a landmark moment in this process.
For more on Crew-1, here's everything you need to know.