NASA pronounces uncommon health-related SpaceX launch delay

The launch, which had been set for Wednesday, has now been rescheduled for Saturday night time.

NASA has introduced a uncommon, health-related delay in its SpaceX rocket launch of 4 astronauts to the International Space Station, the second postponement of the mission in per week, citing an unspecified medical concern with one of many crew.

NASA stated on Monday the problem was “not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19,” however the area company declined to elaborate on the character of the issue or say which astronaut was concerned.

The launch, initially set for Sunday however then postponed till this Wednesday due to unsuitable climate situations, has now been rescheduled for Saturday night time, NASA stated.

The final time NASA delayed a scheduled launch over a medical concern involving the crew was for a Space Shuttle Atlantis flight in 1990 when mission commander John Creighton fell in poor health. The countdown was halted for 3 days till he was cleared to fly, in line with NASA.

That delay was adopted by two extra weather-related postponements.

Six-month mission

The SpaceX-built car set to fly this weekend, consisting of a Crew Dragon capsule perched atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket, is now set for liftoff at 11:36pm on Saturday (03:36 GMT on Sunday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

If all goes easily, the three US astronauts and their European Space Agency (ESA) crewmate will arrive 22 hours later and dock with the area station 250 miles (400km) above the Earth to start a six-month science mission on board the orbiting laboratory.

For the time being, the 4 crew members will stay below routine quarantine on the Cape as they proceed launch preparations, NASA stated.

Joining the mission’s three NASA astronauts – flight commander Raja Chari, 44, mission pilot Tom Marshburn, 61, and mission specialist Kayla Barron, 34 – is German astronaut Matthias Maurer, 51, an ESA mission specialist.

Chari, a US Air Force fight jet and take a look at pilot, Barron, a US Navy submarine officer and nuclear engineer, and Maurer, a supplies science engineer, are all making their debut spaceflights on board the Dragon car, dubbed Endurance.

Marshburn, a doctor and former NASA flight surgeon, is probably the most skilled astronaut of the crew, having logged two earlier spaceflights and 4 spacewalks.

Saturday’s liftoff, if profitable, would depend because the fifth human spaceflight SpaceX has achieved thus far, following its inaugural launch in September of an area tourism service that despatched the first-ever all-civilian crew into orbit.

The newest mission would mark the fourth crew NASA has flown to the area station with SpaceX in 17 months, constructing on a public-private partnership with the rocket firm fashioned in 2002 by Musk, founder of electrical maker Tesla Inc.