• Monday, Dec 06, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:29 pm

SpaceX delays Crew Dragon launch due to poor weather

  • Published at 05:56 pm November 14th, 2020
SpaceX Falcon9 Rocket
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is readied to carry four astronauts on the first operational Nasa commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Centre, in Cape Canaveral, Florida on November 13, 2020 Reuters

The liftoff time slipped from Saturday to Sunday evening due to forecasts of gusty, onshore winds over Florida, remnants of Tropical Storm Eta

Nasa and high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX announced on Friday a 24-hour weather delay of their planned launch of four astronauts into orbit for Nasa's first full-fledged human mission using a privately owned spacecraft.

The liftoff time slipped from Saturday to Sunday evening due to forecasts of gusty, onshore winds over Florida - remnants of Tropical Storm Eta - that would have made a return landing for the Falcon 9 rocket's reusable booster stage difficult, Nasa officials said.

SpaceX's newly designed Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed "Resilience" by its crew, was rescheduled for launch atop the Falcon 9 at 0027 GMT on Monday from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

The crew for the flight to the International Space Station includes three American astronauts - Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and the mission commander, Mike Hopkins, a US Air Force colonel who is to be sworn into the fledgling US Space Force once aboard the orbiting laboratory.

The fourth crew member is Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, making his third trip to orbit after flying on the US space shuttle in 2005 and a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2009.

The journey to the space station - lengthened from about eight hours to a little over a day by the new launch time - is considered SpaceX’s first "operational" mission for the Crew Dragon.

A so-called test flight of the vehicle to and from the space station with two crewmen aboard the Dragon in August marked the first space flight of Nasa astronauts launched from US soil in nine years, following the end of the shuttle program.

Nasa officials only just signed off on Crew Dragon’s final design earlier this week, capping a nearly 10-year development phase for SpaceX under the space agency’s public-private crew program.

The advent of the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon represents a new era of commercially developed space vehicles - owned and operated by a private entity rather than Nasa - being used to carry Americans into orbit.

"The history being made this time is we’re launching what we call an operational flight to the International Space Station," Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine said at a press conference at Kennedy Space Center on Friday.

Musk, the billionaire Silicon Valley titan who also is chief executive of electric carmarker and battery manufacturer Tesla Inc, usually attends high-profile SpaceX missions in person. But his presence for the launch was thrown into question on Thursday after he said he had taken a series of four coronavirus diagnostic tests, with two coming back positive and two negative.

Asked if Musk would be in the launch control room for liftoff, Bridenstine said agency policy required employees to quarantine and self-isolate after testing positive for the disease, "so we anticipate that that will be taking place."

Whether Musk came into contact with the astronauts was unclear but unlikely since the crew has been in routine quarantine for weeks prior to the flight.

Nasa contracted SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop competing space capsules aimed at replacing the shuttle program that ended in 2011 and weaning the United States off dependence on Russian rockets to send US astronauts to space.

Boeing’s first crewed test mission with its Starliner capsule is planned for late next year.

 


51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail