CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – There will be no creepy astronaut launch to SpaceX this Halloween.
SpaceX and NASA has delayed the next launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station due to adverse weather conditions along the runway.
A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket were scheduled to launch the mission, called Crew-3, early Sunday morning (October 31) from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center here in Florida. But today, NASA announced the 72-hour delay, citing bad weather conditions along the rocket’s flight path. Instead, SpaceX is now aiming for a launch on Wednesday (Nov. 3). Liftoff is set for 1:10 am EDT (0510 GMT).
You can watch the launch live here and on the Space.com website, with permission from NASA, or directly via the space agency. Coverage begins at 20.45 EDT Tuesday (0045 GMT Sunday).
Live updates: SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronautmission
NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for 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 “raised winds and waves in the Atlantic along the Crew Dragon flight path for the launch attempt on October 31,” the agency’s officials wrote in a blog post.
Forecasters said the weather here at Cape Canaveral is likely to be good on launch day, with a 90% chance of favorable start conditions. But downward, the weather does not look so promising. SpaceX requires good weather at its launch site and a splashdown-side downward range if necessary in an emergency. If the mission is unable to get off the ground on Sunday, NASA says the next attempt will be Wednesday (November 3).
Crew-3 carries three NASA astronauts and one international spacecraft. The mission is led by NASA’s Raja Chari, with fellow NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn serving as pilot and Kayla Barron as mission specialist. Also on board will be European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will be the 600th person in space. It will also mark the first space flight for Chari, Barron and Maurer.
“You do not see many newcomers,” Holly Ridings, flight director for the Flight Operations Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, said during a pre-launch news briefing. “It’s really just a testament to what an amazing person he is; he is incredibly, incredibly talented, as they all are.”
“But most of all, he’s just done an excellent job.”
Crew-3 will also mark the 129th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket so far this year, and the 93rd recovery of a first-stage booster (if all goes as planned). SpaceX’s drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” is located out in the Atlantic Ocean awaiting its planned recovery attempt. About nine minutes after takeoff, the first stage of the two-stage rocket is expected to land on the deck of the massive ship.
The rocket, which is part of this mission, has so far one flight under its belt, after taking off another Dragon spacecraft in June as part of a cargo supply mission to the ISS. It rolled to the pillow Wednesday morning, and SpaceX test-fired its engines later that evening, confirming that the rocket was good to go.