General, Research, Technology

SpaceX has moved the launch of Crew Dragon to the ISS - will it take place again?

SpaceX failed to pull off its firstmanned space flight on May 27, as previously planned. 17 minutes before the start, the crew of Crew Dragon were informed that while they remained on Earth - alas, but weather conditions did not allow the spacecraft to make a historic event. The weather station in the Kennedy Space Center recorded too strong winds and clouds - to launch in such conditions, especially with the crew, is not safe. This time SpaceX could not make a mistake, so the astronauts will fly to the ISS a little later.

Alas, astronauts spent several hours in a rocket just like that

SpaceX flight date to the ISS

Date of first manned flight in 10 yearsspace was transferred from the North American continent from May 27 to May 30, 2020. It is expected that during this time the weather conditions at the launch site will improve, and SpaceX can still send the crew to the ISS. The same Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the Crew Dragon to the ISS. Two NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will be on board, SpaceX did not change the crew, although sometimes this happens. The launch will take place at 15 hours 22 minutes local time (22 hours 22 minutes Moscow time). In order not to miss this event, follow us in Yandex.Dzen.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken drove to the launch pad at Tesla

Initially, despite the coronavirus pandemic,the space agency did not cancel the launch, which was criticized, but now Elon Musk simply had no choice. This mission will also be the first for SpaceX. Her Falcon 9 rocket used to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station.

Why cancel launches into space

This is not the first time SpaceX cancels an importantlaunch of a spacecraft shortly before launch. So, on August 26, 2019, the company canceled the launch of Starhopper, a prototype of the Starship spaceship, 1 second before takeoff! However, two days later, on August 28, 2019, during a vertical test flight, Starhopper successfully climbed to a height of 150 meters, and then gently landed on the ground. Despite the fact that SpaceX wanted to fly to a height of 200 meters, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued permission to “jump” no higher than 150 meters.

A few seconds after starting Starhopper

The same thing happened with 60 Starlink satellites, which eventually ended up in space. But a few days before that, SpaceX canceled the launch of satellites a few seconds before launch.

In all cases, the exact reasons for the cancellation were not reported. As SpaceX later said, it was an automatic hang-up caused by a break in the data flow during the engine power test.

This time, there seemed to be no technical glitches(or they don’t tell us about them yet), and the launch was canceled only due to weather conditions. Of course, it is not a fact that on May 30 the weather will be much better, and the astronauts will be able to go into space, but hope remains. However, even if there is a contingency situation before launch, in April SpaceX and NASA took part in a training emergency training exercise, thereby demonstrating that the crew can be successfully evacuated in the event of an emergency before takeoff. Although now some believe that the first manned flight in 10 years in the United States will have to be postponed for a longer period, since SpaceX may not be ready for such a serious event. Still, sending cargo to the ISS is one thing, and people are another.

SpaceX will have to wait for better weather (and it is better to call the US Hydrometeorological Center in advance)

SpaceX Astronauts Expected to Spend on the ISSup to 110 days, although it was assumed that the flight would last only 10 days. If everything goes well, in the future NASA may refuse the services of Russia and Soyuz spacecraft and deliver astronauts to the ISS on their own.

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