NASA delays space crew launch, minutes before takeoff
Science Desk, Feb 27 (EFE).- NASA on Monday delayed the SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station “due to a ground systems issue.”
The mission was scheduled to take off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida and take four astronauts to spend at least six months carrying out more than 200 experiments and maintenance tasks at the space station.
A launch window was available for Tuesday, but NASA and SpaceX have decided to forgo that “due to unfavorable weather forecast conditions.”
“The next available launch attempt is at 12:34 a.m. EST Thursday, pending resolution of the technical issue preventing Monday’s launch,” the space agency said.
“I’m proud of the NASA and SpaceX teams’ focus and dedication to keeping Crew-6 safe,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.
“Human spaceflight is an inherently risky endeavor and, as always, we will fly when we are ready.”
The space agency said the crew and the vehicles, the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon Endeavor capsule, were “in a safe configuration.”
“SpaceX has removed propellant from the Falcon 9 rocket and the astronauts have exited the Dragon spacecraft for astronaut crew quarters.”
The decision to cancel the flight was made two minutes and thirty seconds before the launch of the Falcon 9, which was to take off at 1:45 a.m. Eastern time.
The launch was earlier delayed from Febr.26 to 27 for additional thermal analysis of the panels on the exterior of the Dragon capsule.
The mission is the sixth crew rotation flight of a Dragon spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, carrying NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, who will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively.
The other two are UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will serve as mission specialists.
Crew-6 is scheduled for a long-duration stay of up to six months aboard the space station for science and maintenance before returning to Earth.
The crew will do new scientific investigations to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. EFE