The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a dramatic in-flight test of the emergency escape system built into the company's Crew Dragon astronaut ferry ship was delayed 24 hours on Saturday because of high winds and rough seas in the capsule's off-shore recovery zone.
The Falcon 9, featuring a thrice-flown first stage and a fueled but engine-less second stage, is expected to be destroyed during the test while the unpiloted Crew Dragon capsule, equipped with eight powerful Super Draco rocket engines, is boosted to safety before splashing down about 20 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral.
Launch from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center originally was targeted for 8 a.m. ET Saturday, the opening of a four-hour window. But forecasters warned that expected high winds and rough seas off shore could cause problems for the Crew Dragon's recovery.
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