NASA is redirecting the launch of the next SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to November 14 amid ongoing reviews of the latest problems with the engine with the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, the space agency announced on Monday. The spacecraft will transport four astronauts to the International Space Station for a planned six-month stay.
After the successful Crew Dragon “Demo 2”which transported two astronauts to and from the laboratory complex, NASA managers were ready to continue operational flights on astronauts’ ferries, beginning with the Crew-1 mission.
But the flight was delayed byafter the release of a turbopump with one or more engines in the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which caused an interruption of the launch on October 2 in the Air Force at Cape Canaveral.
No details were provided, except for a tweet from SpaceX founder Elon Musk, which said the outage was caused by an “unexpected increase in pressure”
Against the backdrop of troubleshooting to identify and resolve what went wrong, SpaceX moved forward with three launches of the company, they are all successful.
NASA executives plan to hold a media teleconference Wednesday to discuss plans to launch the Crew-1, “including results from recent tests of Falcon 9 Merlin engines” after the launch ceases, the agency said in a statement.
The Crew-1 flight will follow the next launch of Falcon 9 on November 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The manned mission will fly “after a thorough review of the operation of the launch vehicle.”
Crew-1 commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will be on board. Hopkins, Walker and Noguchi are veterans of space flight, while Glover will make his first flight.
The release of historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for 7:49 p.m. EST, creating an automated rendezvous and docking at the space station’s front port eight hours later, shortly after 4 a.m. the next morning.
NASA relies on Boeing’s SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner to stop the agency’s sole reliance on Russian Soyuz rockets and spacecraft to transport American and partner astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
Astronaut Kate Rubins used the agency’s last agreed-upon location in the Union when she and astronauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkovin Kazakhstan on October 14, boarding the station three hours later. Rubins’ seat aboard the Soyuz MS-17 / 63S spacecraft cost NASA $ 90 million.