NASA Crew Dragon mission to ISS delayed to investigate SpaceX Falcon 9 engine issue
Ato the International Space Station won’t be happening. It’s been lately.
SpaceX’s first regular operational mission (meaning not a test mission) to ferry astronauts to the ISS has been pushed back to no sooner than early to mid November, NASA announced Saturday.
The delay is related to “off-nominal behavior of Falcon 9 first-stage engine gas generators,” according to NASA. The agency didn’t specify which Falcon 9 launch attempt. Most recently, on Oct. 6, SpaceXinto orbit but it also .
There have beenwhere rockets didn’t take off for reasons ranging from weather to technical issues.
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NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which includes SpaceX and Boeing, is aimed at ending the agency’s reliance on Russian spacecraft to carry astronauts to the ISS. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker are still ready to take flight along with Soichi Noguchi of Japanese space agency JAXA for Crew-1.
SpaceX has more than just the astronaut mission on its plate. It’s also in charge of a NASA ocean-monitoring satellite launch set for Nov. 10 and an upcoming cargo mission to the ISS. All of these rely on the workhorse Falcon 9 rocket system.
“With the high cadence of missions SpaceX performs, it really gives us incredible insight into this commercial system and helps us make informed decisions about the status of our missions,” Lueders said in the NASA statement. “The teams are actively working this finding on the engines, and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week.”