World news – GB – The launch of SpaceX for the crew on its first « operational » mission was delayed due to the weather


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NASA and high-tech pioneer Elon Musk SpaceX on Friday announced a 24-hour weather delay to launch a plan for four astronauts into orbit for NASA’s first full-scale human mission using a privately owned spacecraft..

NASA officials said take-off time has slipped from Saturday to Sunday evening due to expectations of gusty ground winds over Florida – the remnants of Tropical Storm ETA – which would have made the return of the reusable boost stage of the Falcon 9 rocket difficult.. .

SpaceX’s newly designed Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed « Resilient, » has been rescheduled to launch on Falcon 9 summit at 7:27 PM. M. Eastern time Sunday (0027 GMT Monday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

The flight crew to the International Space Station includes three American astronauts – Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and mission commander Mike Hopkins, U. . s. The colonel in the Air Force who will be sworn in at U Walid. s. Space force once aboard the orbiting laboratory.

The fourth crew member, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, on his third flight into orbit after flying on U. s. Space Shuttle in 2005 and Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2009.

The flight to the space station – which lasted from about eight hours to just over a day by the new launch date – marks SpaceX’s first « operational » mission for the Crew Dragon.

The so-called test vehicle flight to and from the space station with two crew members aboard the Dragon in August marked the first space flight of NASA astronauts launched from U. s. Soil in nine years, after the shuttle program ends.

NASA officials just signed the final design for the Crew Dragon earlier this week, culminating in a nearly 10-year development phase for SpaceX under the space agency’s crew program between the public and private sectors..

The emergence of the Falcon 9 and the Crew Dragon represents a new era of commercially developed spacecraft – owned and operated by a private entity rather than NASA – used to take Americans into orbit.

« The date that is being made this time is we’re launching what we call an operational flight to the International Space Station, » NASA President Jim Bridenstein said at a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday..

Musk, a Silicon Valley billionaire who is also CEO of electric car and battery maker Tesla Inc, usually attends SpaceX’s high-profile assignments in person. But his presence in the launch was questioned on Thursday after he said he had undergone a series of four tests to diagnose the Coronavirus, with two positive and two negative returning.. .

In response to a question whether Musk will be in the launch control room to take off, Bridenstein said the agency’s policy requires employees to quarantine and self-isolate after testing positive for the disease, « so we expect that to happen. ».

It is not clear if Mask made contact with the astronauts but it is unlikely that the crew was in routine quarantine for weeks prior to the flight.

NASA contracted with SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop competing space capsules designed to replace the shuttle program that ended in 2011 and wean the United States from relying on Russian missiles to send the U. . s. Astronauts into space.

All quotes are at least 15 minutes late. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.

SpaceX, NASA and International Space Station

World News – GB – The launch of SpaceX for the crew on the first « operational » mission was delayed due to the weather


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