SpaceX’s subsequent crew flight is off till a minimum of subsequent week, as NASA debates whether or not to deliver astronauts again from the International Space Station earlier than launching their replacements.
Flight surgeons, in the meantime, are persevering with to watch the “minor medical issue” affecting one among 4 astronauts awaiting liftoff at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
NASA mentioned Thursday that the astronaut—whom they are not figuring out—ought to be superb earlier than a doable launch try on Monday. But NASA might choose to first deliver dwelling the 4 astronauts dwelling on the space station since April. The soonest they might return of their SpaceX capsule is Sunday; that will additional postpone the following crew launch.
“The weather in November can be especially challenging, so our goal is to move forward on the plan with the highest probability of mission assurance and crew safety,” NASA’s business crew program supervisor, Steve Stich, mentioned in an announcement.
The U.S.-German crew ought to have rocketed to the space station final weekend, however poor weather alongside the flight path pushed the flight to Wednesday. But then one of many astronauts was sidelined for undisclosed medical causes, and the launch was bumped to this weekend. But with extra bad weather anticipated, SpaceX and NASA referred to as it quits till subsequent week.
NASA mentioned managers will make a last resolution quickly on whether or not to prioritize the launch or splashdown, based mostly on climate. They’re additionally reviewing what number of days could be wanted between the 2 occasions.
Also factoring into the equation is the period of time a SpaceX capsule can stay in orbit earlier than its techniques are degraded. The firm’s Dragon capsules are designed to spend 210 days aloft; the one up there now logged day 195 on Thursday. Additional evaluation might lengthen the suitable period of time, in line with NASA.
If the 4 astronauts come dwelling first, the station will stay occupied by an American and two Russians.
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SpaceX crew launch bumped to subsequent week; astronaut on mend (2021, November 4)
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