Only On 7: Astronauts talk after rocket launch scrubbed

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ByJonathan Bloom KGO logo
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Only On 7: Astronauts talk after rocket launch scrubbed
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SpaceX called off a supply flight to the International Space Station because of rocket trouble, another delay in the delivery of groceries and overdue Christmas presents.

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (KGO) -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will have to wait a little longer for Christmas, after the launch of the cargo vehicle carrying their presents was scrubbed just moments before liftoff on Tuesday morning. And just moments after that, the astronauts spoke to us via satellite. It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News.

Astronauts are known for staying positive. But there's no doubt it was a letdown.

"We were watching," said NASA astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore. "And certainly there's a little disappointment because it has fresh fruit and all those type of things we were interested in getting."

Things that are months overdue. The last resupply mission was a rocket from Orbital Sciences. It exploded just seconds after launch. And with it, 18 student experiments went up in flames, including one from Oakland designed to see how worms compost in microgravity.

"We never thought it would explode, right?" said seventh-grader Jose Morga. "All this hard work taking our effort for just 30 seconds to blow it up,"

But just weeks later, the seventh-graders had rebuilt their experiment and sent it to SpaceX to wait for the next launch.

"Like every day I wake up thinking like when it's gonna go up in space," said seventh-grader Kevin Cruz.

"Doing stuff with kids, that's always very exciting," said astronaut Samantha Cristoforettiis.

RAW VIDEO: Interview with astronauts aboard ISS

The astronauts say they're looking forward to getting those experiments, and a few other things they really miss.

"We ran out of condiments a month and a half ago," Wilmore said. "So I'm looking forward to getting some yellow mustard."

SpaceX will try the launch again in a few days. And for the second time, they'll try something new.

Video shows the first stage booster rocket from the last mission as the engine re-ignited and tried to land the rocket on a barge in the ocean. It didn't quite work, but reusable rockets could be just around the corner.

"Which will be pretty amazing," said astronaut Terry Virts. "And the real benefit there is an economic one. If you can reuse the boosters, I think that's gonna reduce the cost of launching to space, which of course is important. It's the biggest limiting factor we have in getting to space is the cost."

Of course, the most famous reusable spacecraft was the space shuttle based in Florida, but with a simulator here in the Bay Area.

"San Francisco is one of my favorite places in America," Virts said. "Actually, Butch and I both learned how to land the space shuttle there at NASA Ames. I miss it, and I'd love to have an In-N-Out burger right now."

Click here to watch the full interview with the three astronauts.