President Trump and first lady Melania Trump did not get the chance Wednesday to watch NASA’s first launch with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, with a bad weather call made 16 minutes before the two American astronauts were to lift off.
The Trumps had traveled to Florida with family members including Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, Eric Trump and wife Lara Trump, along with some of the grandkids.
Air Force One flew over the launch site before landing in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Trumps had left the White House shortly after lunch, with the president skipping a Q&A with the gathered press, holding the first lady’s hand as they boarded Marine One, neither wearing face masks. She put one on while inside the helicopter.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence had traveled ahead to the Kennedy Space Center, where astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were to be the first to launch from American soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program, which concluded nine years ago.
The president and first lady joined up with the Pences upon their arrival, touring NASA’s Florida headquarters without wearing masks.
‘Good luck, God be with you, it’s a dangerous business, but they’re the best it is,’ Trump told reporters was his message to astronauts Hurley and Behnken.
Pence said it was a moment when ‘we will again send American astronauts to space on an American rocket from American soil.’
Weather had been dicey in the area all day with NASA making the call it would be too dangerous to launch the capsule that would need to land in water if a mission went sour.
The president scrubbed a speech he was supposed to give after the launch, boarding Air Force One before his traveling pool of reporters could capture his reaction.
President Trump stepped out of Air Force One Wednesday as he arrived to watch the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft that was to take two Americans into space. The launch was scrubbed with 16 minutes to go
First lady Melania Trump and President Trump walk down Air Force One’s stairs as they arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday
The president and first lady enter the beast as they arrive Wednesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center headquarters where the SpaceX-NASA partnership will be on full display later in the afternoon
Air Force One flies over the Kennedy Space Center as the president and first lady arrive to watch the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft take two American astronauts into space for the first time on U.S. soil for nine years
Jared Kushner holds out an umbrella for Ivanka Trump and their two kids as the Trump family arrives at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump arrive at the Kennedy Space Center with two of their kids Wednesday
Jared Kushner goes sans mask at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday, while Ivanka Trump and two of their children don masks. Other Trump family members including Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle are seen over Kushner’s shoulder, also choosing not to wear masks
The president and vice president and their wives walk through the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility on Wednesday before the planned SpaceX-NASA launch
Upon arrival, President Trump (center right) and first lady Melania Trump (right) linked up with Karen Pence (left) and Vice PResident Mike Pence (center left) four a tour of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at the Kennedy Space Center. Trump signed a piece of equipment on the tour
President Trump signs his name as he and first lady Melania Trump tour the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday
President Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks through the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at the Kennedy Space Center
President Trump (left) didn’t hold an impromptu Q&A with reporters Wednesday instead holding first lady Melania Trump’s (right) hand en route to Marine One
The Trumps walked together to Marine One Wednesday as they headed to the Kennedy Space Center to see the historic SpaceX-NASA launch
A masked Secret Service agent stands in front of Marine One as it lifts off from the White House’s South Lawn Wednesday
First lady Melania Trump put on a mask once inside Marine One Wednesday as she and President Trump traveled to the Kennedy Space Center to see American astronauts lift off for the first time in nine years
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk between Marine One and Air Force One Wednesday en route to Kennedy Space Center
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews Wednesday
First lady Melania Trump (right) and President Trump (center) board Air Force One Wednesday as they head to Florida to see the SpaceX rocket and capsule take two NASA astronauts to space
Air Force Once takes off from Joint Base Andrews Wednesday en route to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
President Trump gives a fist pump to the press as he walked onboard Air Force One alongside first lady Melania Trump on Wednesday
Vice President Mike Pence (center right), who’s holding his mask in his hand, stands alongside wife Karen Pence (right), NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (center left) and SpaceX founder Elon Musk (left)
NASA astronaut Robert Behnken gives a thumbs up to Vice President Mike Pence who was there to see the astronauts say goodbye to their families and leave in white Teslas
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley said goodbye to their families and then boarded a Tesla Model X, which is the other company associated with SpaceX founder Elon Musk
Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken made hugging motions toward their family members before Wednesday’s historic launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of it is seen from a distance at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday
Storm clouds pass over the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. Weather could potentially delay Wednesday’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley board SpaceX’s Dragon capsule for Wednesday’s launch that will take them to the International Space Station
Hurley was the pilot of the final Space Shuttle mission. In recent years, American astronauts have had to travel to the International Space Station on Russian rockets.
Trump said NASA’s facilities were a ‘ghost town’ several years back and he applauded the agency’s partnership with SpaceX. In brief comments made to reporters, he also referenced Space Force, the space age branch of the military he signed into existence in December. Earlier this month, the president debuted the new Space Force flag.
When the launch does happen, it will mark the fifth time in history the U.S. has sent Americans into space on a new rocket system. It’s also the first time the rocket has been made by a private company.
The Pences, who had face masks and wore them for part of the time, stood alongside Behnken, Hurley and their families as the astronauts said goodbye Wednesday afternoon.
Once in flight, the astronauts’ mission is expected to last between one and four months.
On Wednesday, they then got into Tesla Model X cars, the other company associated with SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
The white Teslas had NASA’s ‘worm’ logo on the rear window and spherical blue logo on the sides.
Musk, also in a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, stood nearby.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is using Launch Pad 39A, the same facility used by Neil Armstrong and the Apollo crew for their historic voyages to the moon.
While waiting for the Trumps arrival, the Pences toured Launch Complex 34, where the Apollo 1 fire occurred in 1967, killing three astronauts.
The vice president and Karen Pence left flowers underneath the memorial plaque alongside Sheryl Lyn Chaffee and Chaffee’s spouse Grady Thomas. Chaffee was the daughter of Roger B. Chaffee, one of the astronauts who died.
Lift-off was scheduled for 4:33 p.m., but at 4:17 p.m. it was called off.
A tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Brevard County, where Kennedy Space Center is located, with less than three hours to go before the launch.
Pence and Trump were expected to deliver remarks from the Kennedy Space Center, though Trump left quickly after the mission was scrubbed. The pool of reporters who follow the president had been apart from him when the call was made in order to get a view of the launch.
The president walked back onboard Air Force One before the pool caught up with him.
Wednesday’s trip to Florida marked Pence’s second time in the state in a week.
He traveled to Orlando last Wednesday to talk about economic reopening as cases of coronavirus in the U.S. decrease with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, restaurant owners and hospitality and amusement park bosses.
On this trip, Pence talked excitedly about coming back for the rocket launch, while DeSantis hinted Trump could come too.
On May 5, Trump started traveling again and has made a weekly trek to a swing state since.
Trump, who is now a resident of Florida, won the state in 2016.
He needs to do so again and keep Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in his column in order to earn a second term.
Source: Daily Mail – Articles