NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission: Launch delayed till November, according to reports

James Marshall
October 15, 2020

The trio are heading to the station about a month ahead of SpaceX's next crewed Dragon launch, which will bring another set of four astronauts aboard the ISS in mid-November. When it does launch, American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, plus Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will be aboard SpaceX's first operational crewed mission to the ISS.

The extra time will allow SpaceX to resolve an unexpected observation during a recent non-NASA launch attempt, said the mission leader. Following the Demo-2's successful mission, SpaceX noticed "excessive erosion" in few areas of the Crew Dragon's heat shield which is one of the most essential components of a manned-mission. The company has launched one uncrewed test mission of that capsule, called Starliner, but it hit technical difficulties and was unable to dock with the space station as planned.

The spacecraft, operated by USA company Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Corp., was initially scheduled to blast off from Earth bound for the International Space Station on October 31. NASA had earlier delayed the launch from October 23 to October 31 To provide more time to complete the certification work of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

"The teams are actively working this finding on the engines, and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week", Lueders said in a statement late on Saturday.

America Area Pressure's (U.S.S.F.)'s fourth GPS-III (GPS III-IV) satellite tv for pc on high of SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 Block 5 launch automobile within the early morning of October three, 2020.

SpaceX shipped the first upgraded Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft to Florida, opening the door for the first simultaneous space flight of both dragons. SpaceX is using a new Falcon 9 mission booster, which NASA will also use to guide astronauts on its second CCP mission.

'With the high cadence of missions SpaceX performs, it really gives us incredible insight into this commercial system and helps us make informed decisions about the status of our missions'.

This mission was the precursor for next month's journey, as the team was tasked with testing the Crew Dragon capsule to validate its performance.

It is the second delay of the space mission carried out by SpaceX, since the first was scheduled for early October, but it was postponed so as not to interfere with Expedition 63/64, which will be launched from Russian Federation with two cosmonauts and a woman astronaut. The four astronauts are expected to come back in spring 2021.

However, when Behnken and Hurley returned from a two month stay on the ISS, NASA began moving forward with its plans for Crew 1. As part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, two private companies - SpaceX and Boeing - have developed their own space capsules to get NASA astronauts to and from the space station.

That Soyuz launch, scheduled for October 14, will send NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov to the orbiting lab. Their arrival on SpaceX's new passenger vehicle will bring the total population of the ISS to seven - a larger cohort than usual for the ISS, which has typically held six-person crews since the end of the Space Shuttle program.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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