A large crowd has ignored social distancing as they stormed onto a bridge to watch an event that never ended up taking place.
Huge crowds gathered on the Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville, Florida, to see the launch of the SpaceX rocket with two NASA astronauts – the first crewed mission in almost a decade.
A photo from Florida Today showed spectators packed like sardines on the bridge, many of whom were not wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
There have been more than 50,000 cases of coronavirus in Florida and more than 2300 deaths.
As pictures emerged on social media, people were shocked by the scenes that would otherwise suggest the world was not gripped by a pandemic – where social distancing is critical to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“WTF? Not a mask in sight,” one tweeted.
“Insane! Talk about a hot spot,” another said.
“No one knows the meaning of social distancing.”
A third wrote on Facebook she was “dumbfounded”.
“What the hell are they thinking? IF they’re thinking!” she said.
SpaceX rocket launch rescheduled
And it seems like the packed crowd was all for nothing, with SpaceX having to cancel its launch with less than 17 minutes to go in the countdown on Wednesday (local time) because of thunderclouds and the risk of lightning.
There are now fears crowds could flock to the bridge again as the launch has been postponed to Saturday afternoon.
“Crazy crowds and traffic here today for the launch. Saturday will probably be much worse,” a woman wrote on Facebook.
One said it “looks like six-inch distancing was in effect”.
Another woman also shared her concerns about the number of people packed onto the bridge.
“Rescheduled for Saturday so they can do this again! And it was like this everywhere you went around here. If it’s a nice day Saturday ... it will be even worse,” she said.
The latest photo comes just three days after huge crowds ignored social distancing orders as cash was thrown for a rap video on Memorial Day weekend in the US.
Other photos from the holiday taken in the US showed people flocking to beaches, outdoor areas, bars and pools.
SpaceX is the private rocket of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Over the past nine years, NASA astronauts have had to hitch rides into orbit aboard Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.
For Musk, the launch represents another milestone for the reusable rockets his company pioneered to make spaceflight less costly and frequent.
It would also mark the first time that commercially developed space vehicles – owned and operated by a private entity rather than NASA – have carried Americans into orbit.
The last time NASA launched astronauts into space aboard a brand new vehicle was 40 years ago at the start of the shuttle program.
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