The real reason the SpaceX launch was shut down

On Wednesday, May 27th, the world took a much-needed break from the litany of terrible news to appreciate a long-abandoned testament to man's capacity for creation. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts were set to take off from American soil as a joint venture between NASA and SpaceX prepared to slip the surly bonds of Earth.

Then, at just T-17 minutes, the mission was scrubbed. The cancellation was due to concerns about the weather, citing Tropical Storm Bertha having recently made landfall in South Carolina. Weather conditions were a concern at the launchpad, with NPR reporting that the National Weather Service had even issued a tornado warning nearby earlier in the day and ground crew members on the lookout for lightning while rocket fuel was being loaded. In addition, weather conditions were considered especially unsafe at the designated emergency landing area set up in case of trouble during takeoff.

Rain delay

The mission is set to mark several firsts: it will be the first time that astronauts are transported to the International Space Station on a private vessel, as well as the first manned space mission launched from the United States since the space shuttle program was shut down in 2011.

With several tons of rocket fuel in the tank and the eyes of the nation pointed expectantly in their direction, Elon Musk's SpaceX and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have every right to play things safe rather than sorry. SpaceX famously experienced some growing pains in the process of developing manned rockets, with highly publicized failures dating back to 2006. Still, you can't make an omelet without exploding a few eggs. Shortly after the May 27th mission was scrubbed, NASA and SpaceX officials were quick to announce their next attempt, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 30th at 3:00 pm Eastern time.