SpaceX rocket launch to ISS pushed back 24 hours
NASA on Tuesday announced the postponement by 24 hours of the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Space X, initially scheduled for Sunday, and which is to send three astronauts and a cosmonaut to the International Space Station (ISS).
Americans Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, Russian Andrey 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 will have to wait 1:45 a.m. (6 h 45 GMT) on Monday, according to NASA officials.
The astronauts and the cosmonaut are to spend six months in orbit aboard the ISS. They arrived in Florida on Tuesday to begin their final preparations for the mission.
“When you look at the work we have left to do, mainly on the vehicle: getting (the capsule) Dragon and (the rocket) Falcon 9 ready to go…we're a little behind,” said Steve Stich, NASA manned commercial program manager.
“And so we need a little more time,” he told reporters after a readiness review of Falcon 9 and Dragon.
According to Steve Stich, several issues need to be addressed before launch, including additional analyzes of the thermal performance of certain outer skin cells at the Dragon capsule.
< p>NASA officials said they expect members of the SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 mission to complete a five-day handover with the four members of Dragon Crew-5 who have been aboard the ISS since October. /p>
At the same time, 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 flight into space.
In December, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, docked with the ISS and which was to bring back to Earth the American Frank Rubio and the Russians Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitri Peteline, suffered a spectacular leak, due according to Moscow to the impact of a micrometeorite.
The Russian agency has decided to send another spacecraft, the Soyuz MS-23, to their rescue. , which is to leave on February 24 from the Baikonur cosmodrome.
Before this flight, the three men were to reach Earth on March 28. “Now it is scheduled to take place aboard Soyuz MS-23 in September 2023,” Roscosmos said in a statement on Tuesday.