Washington, Oct 11 (IANS) NASA has delayed the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) until early-to-mid November, providing additional time for SpaceX to complete hardware testing and data reviews.
"We have a strong working relationship with our SpaceX partner", Kathy Lueders, director of spaceflight operations at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement. The agency announced Saturday that Crew-1, its joint mission with SpaceX, won't take off until at least early-to-mid November. This mission will re-use the Dragon capsule which ferried astronauts Behnken and Hurley to the ISS in Might this 12 months, resuming manned spaceflight from US soil.
The Crew Dragon will also offer upgrades to its heat shield on the one that launched with the two astronauts earlier in 2020. With Is it not unreasonable to verify that the Falcon 9 Booster B1061 (Crew-1) is not affected by the same issue that forced B1062 to cancel its USA military GPS III satellite launch on October 2?.
Crew-1 mission with Crew Dragon is of special importance for NASA.
Although the agency did not specify which mission this was, it was just last October 2 when the Falcon 9 launch set to carry a Global Positioning System 3 satellite was scrubbed just two seconds before liftoff.
In the future, NASA hopes that it will be able to do seat business with Roscosmos, in which Russian cosmonauts will ride SpaceX and Boeing vehicles in exchange for NASA astronauts flying on the Soyuz. Since the last flight of the Space Shuttle in 2011, the only way NASA astronauts could get to the station was on Russia's Soyuz rocket. SpaceX is utilizing a model new Falcon 9 booster for the mission, which NASA may also use to fly astronauts on its second CCP mission. The Crew-1 crew will complete a six-month science mission on the orbiting space station, fully testing the Dragon capsule's endurance. "Teams are actively working on this outcome on the engines, and we're supposed to be smarter over the next week". Either way, however, a significant delay is required for the CRS-21 and Crew-1 to not mark the first time the two SpaceX Dragon spacecraft meet in orbit on the ISS.
That said, the CRS-21 and Crew-1 are now expected to be released in about two weeks, which can lead to some unique issues.
SpaceX's first Crew Dragon aircraft, the TM-2, or Demo-2, was a test mission that brought NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behanken on a two-month voyage to ISS in May. It will be a 6-months mission and was initially planned by SpaceX with NASA under a contract in 2014 which was made to bring private sector companies to NASA's program. (NASA / Joel Kowsky)SpaceX's first astronaut-assisted crew dragon prepares to leave Hawthorne in early 2020.
SpaceX owns the rocket, but NASA has full knowledge of the company's launch and testing data, Leuders noted.