Skip to main content

Bad weather delays SpaceX Dragon cargo launch to space station

 A view of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Dragon on the pad before the launch attempt was called off on Aug. 28, 2021.
A view of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Dragon on the pad before the launch attempt was called off on Aug. 28, 2021. (Image credit: NASA)

The International Space Station will have to wait one more day to receive its next cargo shipment. 

SpaceX planned to launch a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory early Saturday (Aug. 28) with 4,800 pounds (2,200 kilograms) of supplies for the Expedition 65 crew. But Mother Nature had other plans, and storms near the launch site led SpaceX to delay the launch by about 24 hours. 

"Weather is not in our favor today," SpaceX production supervisor Andy Tran said during a live webcast of Saturday's launch attempt. "The vehicles, both Dragon and Falcon remain healthy," he added. 

Related: SpaceX Dragon to launch big science haul to space station for astronaut health, plant stress and more

SpaceX and NASA called off the launch just a few minutes before the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo craft were scheduled to lift off from NASA's historic Launch Complex 39A at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 3:37 a.m. EDT (0737 GMT) on Saturday. 

Weather forecasts had predicted a 60% chance of unfavorable launch weather earlier on Friday (Aug. 27), and the Florida storms didn't clear up as the launch window approached.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Dragon spacecraft, is seen in hangar at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 24, 2021.  (Image credit: SpaceX)

"Weather is a story that just keeps getting worse, unfortunately," NASA spokesman Joshua Santora said during NASA TV's launch broadcast. 

"We opened the show with a situation that had us at about a 60% chance of violating specifically to the cumulus cloud rule, but since our show has begun we've had a couple of other issues pop up," Santora said. "We also are tracking now the attached anvil cloud rule and surface electric field rule," he added, calling it "not a great scenario to be in."

The next launch opportunity for the Dragon cargo launch is on Sunday (Aug. 29) at 3:14 a.m. EDT (0714 GMT). You can watch the launch live on this page and here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. You can also watch directly via NASA TV or SpaceX's website.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.