SpaceX, NASA delay astronaut launch for ‘additional analysis’

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A SpaceX and NASA mission that was set to launch four astronauts — representing four nations and space agencies across the globe — to the International Space Station was abruptly called off Thursday evening.

The precise reason for the delay, announced late Thursday night, was not immediately clear. The astronauts’ SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft had been slated to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:50 a.m. ET Friday.

In a social media post, SpaceX said only that it was delaying the liftoff time to Saturday, August 26 at 3:27 a.m. because it “provides teams additional time to complete and discuss analysis.”

“The vehicles remain healthy and crew is ready to fly,” according to the post shared on X, the website formerly known as Twitter.

During a livestream, NASA spokesperson Rob Navias said “mission mangers met and elected to postpone the launch of the Crew-7 crew for 24 hours to provide just a bit more time to close out some open paperwork.”

The latest forecasts from the US Space Force, which oversees rocket launches, projects a 95% chance that the weather will be favorable for the Saturday liftoff.

The four astronauts set to launch aboard this mission, dubbed Crew-7, include NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, who will be mission commander; Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen, representing the European Space Agency; Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA; and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos.

Once at the space station, Moghbeli, Mogensen, Furukawa and Borisov will join the seven astronauts already on the orbiting laboratory.

The Crew-7 astronauts will spend about five days taking over operations from the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts, who have been on the space station since March.

This mission will mark the eighth flight operated by NASA and SpaceX as part of the agency’s commercial crew program, which has been ferrying astronauts to the space station since SpaceX’s first crewed mission in 2020.

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source: yahoo.com