NASA and SpaceX have postponed the launch scheduled for early Friday from the southeastern United States of a crew rotation mission to the International Space Station (ISS) until Saturday.
“Launch is now scheduled for 3:27 a.m. (07:27 GMT) Saturday, August 26, for SpaceX’s seventh crew rotation mission to the microgravity lab,” NASA said, without providing a reason for the postponement. .
A fallback firing window is scheduled for 3:04 a.m. (7:04 GMT) on Sunday.
Liftoff was originally scheduled to take place from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:50 a.m. local time Friday (7:50 a.m. GMT) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from billionaire Elon Musk’s company.
SpaceX explained that the new launch date gives “teams more time to complete and discuss analyses.”
“The devices are in good condition and the crew is ready to fly,” assured the company.
Powered by the rocket, the Dragon capsule in which the four passengers will travel must dock with the ISS after a trip of about a day. The crew will then stay for about six months on board this flying laboratory, where they will carry out multiple scientific experiments.
Called Crew-7, the mission is commanded by American astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, 40, who will be making his first trip to space. Also on board will be the Dane Andreas Mogensen, the Japanese Satoshi Furukawa and the Russian Konstantin Borisov, for whom this will also be the first space mission.
Despite heightened diplomatic tensions between Washington and Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine, collaboration between the American and Russian space agencies continues in the ISS — one of the few areas of cooperation still ongoing between the two countries.
The Crew-7 crew will join the seven passengers currently aboard the ISS, which has been permanently manned for more than 20 years.
After a few days of handover with the Crew-6 crew (two Americans, a Russian and an Emirati), it will come back down to Earth aboard another SpaceX capsule.
This is the seventh regular mission to the ISS carried out by SpaceX on behalf of NASA – not counting a test mission which also carried two astronauts.