The four astronauts from NASA and the SpaceX Crew-3 mission will wait a little longer until they explode aboard a Crew Dragon capsule from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The group of astronauts was set to rocket off the planet Tuesday, but a “minor medical problem” has forced a reshuffle.
The launch was originally scheduled to take place early in the morning on Halloween, but “adverse weather conditions predicted along the flight path” initially pushed the plane back to November 2nd. It has been scrubbed off due to the medical problem involving one of the crew members. In a blog post on Monday, NASA said the problem “is not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19” and the crew will remain in quarantine until the mission is ready to begin.
NASA says the earliest launch window will open is 20:36 PT (23:36 ET) Saturday, November 6th.
It’s all being streamed live via NASA’s feed right here.
The NASA astronauts on this Dragon’s passenger list are former US Navy submarine war officer Kayla Barron, test pilot Raja Chari and veteran astronaut and emergency physician Tom Marshburn along with European astronaut Matthias Maurer, a German materials scientist who has been with the European Space Agency. for over a decade.
During their six months aboard the ISS, the Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled to make more spacewalks for space station maintenance and also help conduct scientific research in orbits involving fiber optics, growing plants without soil and how astronauts’ eyes change from exposure to space, i.a. other experiments.
While the Crew Dragon is a reusable spacecraft, this particular vehicle is a brand new one that has been dubbed Endurance. However, the Falcon 9 booster and nosecone have flown before.
After departure in the dark, the Falcon 9 will return to attempt to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic, and the Dragon will reach speeds over 17,000 miles per hour (27,360 kilometers per hour) on its way to intercept the ISS about 22 hours later.
The four astronauts and others already on board will welcome two private crews to the space station in the coming months as the new era of space tourism accelerates. A group of Japanese tourists will ride on a Russian Soyuz capsule in orbit by the end of 2021, andto the ISS in early 2022, also on a Crew Dragon.
A crew dragon transported humans for the first time in May 2020 when astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken drove it to the ISS, marking the return of human spaceflight to American Earth after a nine-year hiatus following the end of the 2011 space shuttle program. one of two vehicles NASA approved for development for its Commercial Crew program.after failing to reach orbit in a test flight in December 2019.