This story was updated at 7:41 p.m. EST.
NASA will have to wait at least an extra day for the launch of SpaceX’s first four-space mission to land.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Let’s dragon The capsule was scheduled to be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday (November 14) for astronauts to the International Space Station. That mission, Called Crew-1, Will now not launch before 7:27 p.m. Sunday due to weather delays from Tropical Storm Eta, which affected SpaceX’s drone aircraft rocket recovery operations. The launch itself had a 70% chance of good weather.
“Basically, it was a matter of getting the drone there on time,” Benji Reid, SpaceX’s senior director of human spaceflight programs, told reporters at a news conference Friday. “The weather was such a hot storm that we were unable to get the drone to land and arrive on time.”
Live updates: SpaceX’s Crew-1 astronaut launches for NASA
SpaceX uses automated drones as floating landing pads in the Atlantic Ocean to later re-launch the first phase of its Falcon 9 rocket. But good weather is needed for those operations. Recovering the first phase of the Crew-1 mission is important because the booster will be used on NASA’s next spaceflight, starting March 30.
“This booster is very important to us,” said Steve Stich, NASA’s commercial crew program manager. “We’re going to re-use the first phase as we fly Crew-1 for the upcoming Crew-2 mission in the spring.”
Reed also said that SpaceX and NASA do not currently have any concerns about contact tracing in response to a question about the announcement of SpaceX CEO Alan Musk. Received two positive tests for the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19As well as two negative tests.
“I can assure everyone that we’re looking good for the Crew-1 launch and all the staff,” Reed said.
UPDATE: Due to ocean currents and recovery operations, NASA and @ SpaceX are aiming to launch the CRU-1 mission with astronauts on ST, Sunday, November 15 at 7:27 pm at the @ space_station. Are. The first stage booster is planned to be re-used for space travel on Crew-2. # Launch USANovember 13, 2020
SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission will launch a six-month mission on the International Space Station to NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Sochi Noguchi, an astronaut from the Japan Airspace Exploration Agency.
The mission is the first operational flight of the SpaceX crew Dragon spacecraft for NASA, and the first four-person flight for the company. (Only two astronauts took SpaceX’s first Crew flight test for NASA in May.)
The mission was originally scheduled for October 23, then pushed back to October 31. SpaceX and NASA last month The flight was postponed until mid-November To give time to replace the two rocket engines on the mission’s Falcon 9 booster.
The 24-hour launch delay means a long journey to the space station for CRU-1 astronauts.
If SpaceX had launched the mission on Saturday, the Crew-1 astronauts would have arrived at the station on Sunday morning after an 8.5-hour journey due to the station’s position at that time. Due to a one-day delay, the Crew-1 mission will now take about three times longer.
“It’s been about 27 hours since launch,” Steve Stitch, NASA’s commercial crew program manager, told reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday (November 10). “And that’s just the way it works with biblical mechanics.”
This extra time means that Crew-1 astronauts will spend the night in their Crew Dragon, which they call “Flexibility.”
“This gives them another chance to try out the dragon,” Reed said, adding that SpaceX is also looking forward to seeing how the capsule complements the whole process at the time. “I’m pretty sure there are a lot of broadcast events that they’ll be able to do with this time, and you know, looking at things passing by the Earth.”
According to the US Space Force, the weather forecast for the beginning of Sunday is slightly less favorable than for Saturday, with a 60% chance of good weather.
If SpaceX is unable to launch on Sunday, Crew-1 astronauts will have to wait three more days until Wednesday (November 18) to try again. This is due to a few things: First, the two universes currently on the space station will perform a spacewalk on Monday, so the station’s current three-person mission will have 64 pilots busy. Reed added that a start on Tuesday would actually take longer to arrive at the station than Sunday’s flight profile.
“So the next opportunity will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the middle of next week,” he said.
SpaceX is one of two commercial companies with multibillion-dollar contracts from NASA’s space station and space station. Another company, Boeing, will launch its own Starliner spacecraft and astronauts using the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
SpaceX’s first move to NASA took place on May 30. That mission, Called Demo-2, Lasted two months and picked up two astronauts from the station.
You can watch the launch of SpaceX’s Crew-1 for NASA Live here on space.com Sunday begins at 3:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT).
Editor’s note: The story was updated to include new comments from SpaceX and NASA on the initial delay for the Crew-1 mission.
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