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Crew Dragon’s flight to space station delayed by offshore weather

NASA and SpaceX mission chiefs have decided to delay the launch of a Crew Dragon astronaut ferry flight to the International Space Station, pushing take-off from Sunday to Wednesday due to bad weather in the landing zone interrupted from the crew.

Crew-3 Commander Raja Chari, Pilot Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency Astronaut Matthias Maurer had planned to take off from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 2:21 a.m. ET Sunday, kicking off a 10 p.m. rendezvous with the space station.

But just hours after a launch readiness review tentatively cleared the crew for take-off, a meeting to discuss the weather along the Crew Dragon’s northeast path to orbit. concluded with a recommendation of “no-go” based on the forecast of rough seas where the capsule could have collapsed in an abortion.

Crew Dragon’s flight to space station delayed by offshore weather
Crew-3 astronauts dressed and strapped into their Crew Dragon capsule Thursday night for a countdown to the dress rehearsal. From left to right: Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron.


As a result, the launch will be delayed until 1:10 a.m. on Wednesday, the next available opportunity depending on the location of the station in its orbit and the Crew Dragon’s ability to make a rendezvous. The forecast calls for an 80% chance of good local weather conditions and much calmer seas along the way to orbit.

Docking approximately 22 hours after launch will kick off a few hectic days of transfer activity as four departing astronauts, launched into the lab complex last April, brief their replacements on the station’s operations before returning to Earth. aboard their own Crew Dragon.

With the delayed launch of Crew-3 astronauts, Crew-2 commander Shane Kimbrough, pilot Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide now plan to return home. a few days later than expected. The mission will last nearly 200 days, a record for a SpaceX Crew Dragon.


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