NASA Delays SpaceX Launch Over Weather and Mulls Schedule Swap
(Bloomberg) -- NASA has delayed the launch of a crew rotation to the International Space Station for a second time due to poor weather conditions, the agency said Thursday, backing away from plans to send the SpaceX Crew-3 on Saturday or Sunday.
NASA also is considering returning Crew-2, which is currently in orbit, to Earth before the next crew takes off. If NASA opts for that schedule, that means the Crew-2 could undock their SpaceX vehicle for the return journey as soon as Sunday afternoon. A backup time for an undocking would be on Monday.
“Mission teams will make a final decision on whether to prioritize Crew-3’s launch or Crew-2’s return in the coming days based on the likelihood of favorable conditions for a Crew Dragon splashdown or Crew Dragon launch,” NASA said in a statement.
If NASA decides against the Crew-2 return before sending off the Crew-3, the next launch window is set for 9:51 p.m. local time on Monday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA previously had planned to launch the SpaceX Crew Dragon on Oct. 31 and then on Nov. 6.
“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,” said Steve Stich, NASA’s commercial crew program manager.
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