US area company NASA and SpaceX on Tuesday pushed again by 24 hours the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket that’s to hold 4 astronauts to the International Space Station.
NASA’s Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, Russia’s Andrey Fedyaev and Sultan al-Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates had been scheduled to blast off for the ISS at 2:07 am (0707 GMT) Sunday.
Liftoff of the SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has now been rescheduled for 1:45 am Monday, NASA officers mentioned.
The 4 astronauts are scheduled to spend six months on the orbiting area station. They arrived in Florida on Tuesday to start their remaining preparations for the mission.
“When we looked at the work remaining to go, primarily on the vehicle, getting Dragon and Falcon 9 ready to go, we were a little bit behind,” mentioned Steve Stich, supervisor of NASA’s business crew program.
“And so we need a little bit more time,” mentioned Stich, chatting with reporters after the company and SpaceX accomplished what is named a flight readiness evaluate of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule.
Stich mentioned a number of points wanted to be addressed together with extra evaluation in regards to the thermal efficiency of a few of the pods that cowl the outside of the Dragon spacecraft.
NASA officers mentioned they anticipate the members of SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 to have a five-day handover with the 4 members of Dragon Crew-5, who’ve been on the ISS since October.
– Extended keep for Soyuz crew –
Also at present aboard the ISS are three astronauts whose return car, a Soyuz MS-22 crew capsule, was broken whereas docked with the ISS.
Russia’s area company Roscosmos mentioned Tuesday that the trio — Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin and Sergei Prokopyev and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio — have been now anticipated to return to Earth in September.
They had been scheduled to return home on March 28 within the MS-22 however it started leaking coolant in mid-December after being hit by what US and Russian area officers imagine was a tiny area rock.
Russia plans to ship a rescue ship, Soyuz MS-23, to the ISS on Thursday.
Roscosmos mentioned the prolonged area keep — usually ISS missions final six months — posed no well being dangers for the crew, they usually had taken the extension information “positively.”
The launch of the rescue Soyuz capsule was itself postponed earlier this month after one other vessel — a Russian provide ship docked on the ISS, Progress MS-21 — additionally leaked coolant.
Roscosmos mentioned that exact leak was attributable to an “exterior impact,” based mostly on photographs and movies that confirmed holes on the capsule’s exterior, together with on the radiator and photo voltaic panels.
Space has remained a uncommon venue of cooperation between Moscow and Washington for the reason that begin of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and ensuing Western sanctions on Russia.
The ISS was launched in 1998 at a time of elevated US-Russia cooperation following the Cold War “Space Race.”
Russia has been utilizing the ageing however dependable Soyuz capsules to ferry astronauts into area for the reason that 1960s.
But lately Russia’s area program has been beset by a litany of issues which have led to the lack of satellites and autos.