NASA-SpaceX launch of next International Space Station crew pushed to April 22


FILE PHOTO: Workers pressure wash the logo of NASA on the Vehicle Assembly Building before SpaceX will send two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Falcon 9 rocket, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

(Reuters) - The next launch window for a NASA crew to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX rocketship has been pushed back by at least another two days, to no earlier than April 22, the space agency said.

SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, was previously scheduled to carry its second "operational" space station team into orbit for NASA in late March. But NASA announced in January that the target date had slipped to April 20.

The schedule was adjusted again on the basis of available flight times to the space station, driven by orbital mechanics, that would keep the astronauts' need for sleep shifting to a minimum, NASA spokesman Dan Huot said on Monday.

The flight marks only the second full-fledged space station crew-rotation mission launched aboard a privately owned spacecraft - a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tipped with the Crew Dragon capsule it will carry into orbit.

The four-member SpaceX Crew-2 consists of two NASA astronauts, mission commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur, along with Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and fellow mission specialist Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency.

After docking with the space station, they will join the four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts who arrived in November, and cosmonauts carried to the orbiting outpost aboard a Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

The newly arrived Crew-2 are to remain in orbit six months, while Crew-1 is due to return to earth by early May.

McArthur will become the second person from her family to ride a Crew Dragon into space. Her husband, Bob Behnken, was one of two NASA astronauts on the very first manned Crew Dragon launch, a trial flight last August marking NASA's first human orbital mission from U.S. soil in nine years, following the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

(This story corrects day of week to Monday in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In World

Fears of vaccine exclusion as India uses digital ID, facial recognition
Analysis: India shifts from mass vaccine exporter to importer, worrying the world
Mexico charges 30 marines over forced disappearances in border city
'Run, Sara, Run': Is Duterte's daughter playing her father's game?
Colombia rules out prompt opening of Venezuela border on COVID concerns
JPMorgan says U.S.-sanctioned Russian bonds could be excluded from key indexes
North Korea's Kim visits family tomb to pay tribute to grandfather - KCNA
Brazil's Supreme Court confirms decision to annul Lula convictions
Past peak? Chile raises hopes vaccines, lockdowns are turning tide against COVID-19
Brazil in talks to import emergency COVID-19 medications amid shortages

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers