NASA announced Tuesday that it is delaying by 24 hours the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, initially scheduled for Sunday, which should send three astronauts and a cosmonaut to the International Space Station (ISS).
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Americans Stephen Bowen, Warren Hoburg, Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev and Emirati Sultan Al Neyadi were scheduled to take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday at 2:07 a.m. (07:07 GMT), but they will have to wait for 1:45 a.m. (6 hours 45 GMT) on Monday, according to NASA officials.
Astronauts and cosmonauts must spend six months in orbit aboard the International Space Station. They arrived in Florida on Tuesday to begin their final preparations for the mission.
“When you look at the work we’ve got left to do, mainly on the vehicle: getting (the capsule) Dragon and (rocket) Falcon 9 ready for launch…we’re a little behind,” said Steve Stitch, NASA. Managed Commercial Program Manager.
“So we need more time,” he told reporters after reviewing the readiness of the Falcon 9 and Dragon.
According to Steve Stitch, several issues need to be addressed before launch, including further analysis of the thermal performance of some of the outer skin cells in the Dragon capsule.
NASA officials said they expect members of the SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 mission to complete a five-day handover with the four Dragon Crew-5 members who have been aboard the International Space Station since October.
Meanwhile, the Russian Space Agency indicated on Tuesday that the return of an astronaut and two cosmonauts stranded on the International Space Station (ISS) due to a leak was not finally planned until September, a year after their trip into space.
In December, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked at the International Space Station that was to bring back to Earth Americans Frank Rubio and Russians Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petline suffered a spectacular leak, according to Moscow, caused by the impact of a small meteorite. .
The Russian agency decided to send another spacecraft to rescue them, the Soyuz MS-23, which is scheduled to depart on February 24 from the Baikonur cosmodrome.
Prior to this escape, the three men were scheduled to reach Earth on March 28th. “This is now scheduled to take place aboard Soyuz MS-23 in September 2023,” Roscosmos said in a statement on Tuesday.