Next Crew Dragon launch slips into November

James Marshall
October 14, 2020

NASA did not identify the specific launch attempt in question, but an October 2 launch of a Falcon 9 carrying a Global Positioning System 3 satellite was scrubbed just two seconds before liftoff because of SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk later described as an "unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator".

"We have a strong working relationship with our SpaceX partner", Kathy Lueders, director of spaceflight operations at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is using NASA's last now contracted Soyuz seat next week, joining two Russian cosmonauts for a flight to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-17/63S spacecraft. She said an investigation into the problem is ongoing "and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week".

Rescheduled for early-to-mid November, the SpaceX Crew-1 mission will carry three NASA astronauts-Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker-and JAXA specialist Soichi Noguchi to the International Space Station.

As of an October 10th update from NASA, SpaceX and the space agency have chose to delay Crew Dragon's Crew-1 launch by several weeks to double and triple-check that a booster engine issue that aborted a recent Falcon 9 satellite launch has no common root with its sister rocket. That flight will be followed by downstream Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner flights next year.

© Provided by CBS News A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket climbs away from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center May 30, boosting a Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit with two NASA astronauts on board. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)SpaceX's first astronaut-capable Crew Dragon prepares to leave Hawthorne in early 2020.

10 the Crew-1 mission, which was scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 in the early morning hours of October 31 from the Kennedy Space Center, will now launch no earlier than early to mid-November.

The success of the rocket was quickly acknowledged by the space industry, and Musk's company has been in the business of launching cargo to space for the government and private entities ever since. After launch, Crew Dragon will perform a series of maneuvers culminating with rendezvous and docking with the space station.

The incident it refers to took place on October 3, as SpaceX prepared to launch a satellite into space for the US Airforce using its Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX wanted to know what happened with the first stage engine gas generators before moving forward.

SpaceX retired the historic vehicle after it completed its 21st successful orbital launch and landing in April 2020, less than two months before Crew Dragon lifted off on an even more historic astronaut launch debut.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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