NASA & SpaceX Delay Crew Mission, Now Targeting Sunday Launch From Kennedy Space Center
The launch of four astronauts from Kennedy Space Center on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will have to wait one more day. Onshore winds at the recovery zone pushed SpaceX’s Crew-1 launch to Sunday.
SpaceX and NASA are planning to reuse the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket for the next crew mission. That means mission managers are watching weather not just at the launch pad, but also at sea where the booster lands on a barge.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the crew is targeting Sunday, November 15 at 7:27 p.m. EST for launch.
Update: Due to onshore winds and recovery operations, @NASA and @SpaceX are targeting launch of the Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the @Space_Station at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15. The first stage booster is planned to be reused to fly astronauts on Crew-2. #LaunchAmerica
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) November 13, 2020
The mission will be the first operational mission for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle, sending the crew of three NASA astronauts and one astronaut from the Japanese space agency JAXA on a nearly 6 month stay on the station.
Large crowds and heavy traffic are expected on the Space Coast for the launch. Nearly 250,000 spectators are expected to watch the launch prompting Florida Highway Patrol to assign additional troopers and modify routes to and from KSC to handle the crowds.
NASA certified the vehicle for human flight this week in part after a successful test flight with two astronauts back in May.
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