NASA will have to wait two extra days for SpaceX’s next mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The flight, known as Crew-7, was scheduled to lift off Aug. 15 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But the agency and SpaceX announced today (July 25) that they are aiming for August 17.
The small slip was the result of another SpaceX mission — the launch of the Jupiter 3 communications satellite aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket Wednesday night (July 26) from Pad 39A.
„As the launch pad transitions from the Falcon 9 Heavy configuration to a crewed configuration, we will move the launch date to August 17,” Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said at a press conference today.
Related: SpaceX sends Crew-6 astronauts to the space station for NASA
Liftoff of Crew-7 will occur at 6:56 a.m. EDT (1056 GMT) on Aug. 17, Stich added. You can watch the launch live on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX.
The mission will send four people to the ISS: NASA’s Jasmine Mokbeli, European Space Agency’s Andreas Mogensen, Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov in a SpaceX Dragon capsule named Endurance.
If all goes as planned, Endurance will dock with the orbiting observatory about 20 hours after launch at 2:45 a.m. EDT (0645 GMT) on Aug. 18, Stich said today. That arrival will set the wheels in motion when SpaceX’s Crew-6 mission, which reaches the ISS on March 3, takes off. Crew-6 is scheduled to return to Earth on August 25, Stich added.
As its name suggests, Crew-7 will be SpaceX’s seventh operational space mission to fly to an orbiting laboratory for NASA. But this will be the company’s 11th team aircraft overall; SpaceX launched the Demo-2 test mission to the ISS in 2020; Private Inspiration4 flight to Earth orbit in September 2021; And the X-1 and X-2 missions to the station in April 2022 and May 2023.
Ax-1 and Ax-2 were commissioned by Houston-based company Axiom Space, which plans to operate its own space station in low-Earth orbit in the late 2020s.
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