NASA delays launching SpaceX Crew-3 to the International Space Station

SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor is approaching the ISS

SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor is pictured during its approach to the International Space Station on April 24, 2021. Credit: NASA

NASA and SpaceX is now targeting 01:10 EDT on Wednesday, November 3 for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station due to a major storm system that meanders across the Ohio Valley and through the northeastern United States this weekend, winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight path for the launch attempt on 31 October.

The weather conditions along the ascent corridor are expected to improve for a launch attempt on 3 November, and the forecast for the 45th weather squadron predicts an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch site.

NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts are taking part in a countdown test at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 28, 2021 to prepare for the upcoming Crew-3 launch. The astronauts are at Launch Pad 39A with Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon behind them during the exercise. Credit: SpaceX

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission chief, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a lengthy scientific mission aboard the orbiting laboratory that lives and works as part of what is expected to be a crew of seven members.

Launch on November 3 would have Crew-3 arrive at the space station later that day around noon. 23 on Wednesday 3 November for a brief handover with the astronauts who flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon Spacecraft Crew-3 Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on board is seen at sunset on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A, while preparations continue for the Crew-3 mission, Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky

Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet are currently aiming back in early November. Crew-3 astronauts are due to return in late April 2022.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts will remain in the crew quarters of Kennedy until their launch. They will spend time with their families and receive technical and weather briefings in the next few days.

The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock at the space station at 23:00 on Wednesday 3 November. Launch and docking coverage will be broadcast live on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website.

NASA SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts are taking part in a countdown test at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 28, 2021 to prepare for the upcoming Crew-3 launch. From left are Matthias Maurer, with the European Space Agency, and NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, Crew-3 Commander and Kayla Barron. Credit: SpaceX

The Crew-3 flight will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission chief; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month scientific mission that will remain on board until the end of April 2022.

Crew-2 mission with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will now target their docking from the space station by Sunday 7 November at the earliest to return to Earth.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission coverage is as follows (always east):

Tuesday, November 2nd

  • 20:45 – NASA TV launch begins. NASA will have continuous coverage, including launch, docking, hatch open and welcome ceremony.

Wednesday, November 3rd

  • 01:10 – Launch
  • NASA TV coverage continues through the docking, arrival and welcome ceremony. Instead of a post-launch press conference, NASA management will provide comments during the broadcast.
  • 23.00 – Docking

Thursday, November 4th

  • 12:35 – Hatch opening
  • 01:10 – Welcome Ceremony

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