SpaceX Crew-3 launch delayed due to ‘large storm system’

The SpaceX Crew-3 launch, originally scheduled to take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida early in the morning on Halloween, has been delayed due to a major storm system.

The agency said in a Saturday update that the system meandered across the Ohio Valley and through the northeast over the weekend, raising winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean and along the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft’s flight path.

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Now NASA and SpaceX are targeting 1:10 am EDT on Wednesday, November 3 for their Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, left, and NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, second from left, Raja Chari, second from right, and Kayla Barron, right, pose for a photo after answering questions from members of the media after (Photo credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky)

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

For crew launches, SpaceX requires good weather all the way up across the eastern ocean and across the North Atlantic, in case something goes wrong and the crew capsule has to make an emergency plushdown.

“I’m sure of mixed feelings, but hey, you get a few more days to enjoy the sun, the wind in your face, showers and normal food,” ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet wrote in a tweet that responded to the news. “We are waiting for you up here: the sky is always ready in orbit!”

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A.

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Until then, the mission chief, pilot and mission specialists will remain on Kennedy.

The Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a lengthy scientific mission aboard the orbiting laboratory. The launch would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station later that day around noon. 23.00

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on board is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A during a brief static fire test ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission, Thursday, October 28, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (Photo credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky)

This will be SpaceX’s fourth astronaut flight for NASA in a year and a half and the company’s fifth passenger flight.

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Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and Pesquet are aiming for early November for their return to Earth.

Crew-3 astronauts return in late April 2022.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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