NASA SpaceX has announced a 24-hour weather delay to put four astronauts into orbit for America’s first full-fledged manned spacecraft using a privately-owned spacecraft.
Liftoff time has been reduced from Saturday to Sunday evening due to the forecast that winds blowing off the coast of Florida – the remnants of Hurricane Eta – could jeopardize the return journey of the Falcon 9 rocket to the reusable booster stage, NASA officials said.
The crew dragon capsule, scheduled for launch Sunday night at 7.27 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, has been reinstated by its crew.
The Crew for the flight to the International Space Station Includes three American astronauts: Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Mission Commander, Mike Hopkins, and U.S. Air Force Colonel.
The fourth crew member is Japanese astronaut Sochi Noguchi, who is in his third orbit after flying in a U.S. spacecraft in 2005 and a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2009.
The voyage to the space station – with a new launch time of about eight hours to a day – is considered to be the first “operational” mission of the SpaceX for the crew dragon.
A test aircraft of the vehicle to and from the space station In August with two employees NASA marks the first astronaut’s space flight launched from U.S. soil in nine years since the shuttle program ended.
During the nearly 10-year development phase for SpaceX under the space agency’s public-private crew program, NASA officials signed off on the final design of the crew dragon earlier this week.
The arrival of the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon represents a new era of commercially developed spacecraft – owned and operated by a private entity rather than NASA – used to put Americans into orbit.
“This is the history we call an operational flight to the international arena Space Station, ”said Jim Bridenstein, head of NASA.
Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX, usually participates in high-profile launches, but has tested positive for the corona virus. It is not clear if Musk has been in contact with the astronauts, but it is unlikely that the crew was on a regular ship weeks before the flight.
NASA contracted with SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop space capsules to replace the shuttle to put U.S. astronauts into orbit and end US dependence on Russia. Boeing’s first crude test mission is scheduled for the end of 2021 with its Starliner capsule.