NASA delays SpaceX Crew-1 mission to mid-November

Katie Ramirez
October 13, 2020

(Web Desk) - NASA has delayed the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission until early- to mid-November, the agency announced Saturday.

During the briefing conducted for the launch mission, NASA and SpaceX representatives expressed their confidence in Crew Dragon.

"The teams are actively working this finding on the engines, and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week". The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Rose Cosmos astronauts Sergey Ridgekov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will be launched on October 14 at 1:45 a.m.

The event marks the first time an worldwide crew will fly aboard a NASA-certified, commercially-owned and operated American rocket and spacecraft from American soil.

Musk shared that the halt was due to an "unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator" that powers the Merlin 1D engines on the Falcon 9.

NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 is the first crew rotation mission with four astronauts flying on a commercial spacecraft, and the first including an worldwide partner, the agency said earlier.

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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.

Last Friday, however, a Falcon 9 rocket at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station suffered an abort at the T-minus 2-second mark, grounding a Space Force Global Positioning System navigation satellite.

NASA said the issue with the Crew-1 mission will not delay another Falcon 9 launch, of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Earth observation satellite, scheduled for November 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its engines will then fire up again to steer the first stage to a predetermined landing site. That mission will also use a new Falcon 9 first stage. The mission will re-use the Dragon Capsule that brought astronauts Bohnken and Harley to ISS in May this year and launched man-made spaceflight from USA soil. NASA previously delayed the release from October 23rd to October 31st.

Both the Crew-1 and the Global Positioning System 3 missions are using new Falcon 9 first stages that have not previously launched.

With the Crew-1 mission now scheduled for later this fall, the astronauts' stay on the ISS will overlap even more with that of the Crew-2 mission, scheduled for spring 2021.

Crew-1 mission with Crew Dragon is of special importance for NASA. Boeing plans to launch a follow-up Starliner demo in December.

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