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SpaceX, NASA try once again to launch multinational crew from Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Crew-6 at the launch pad
Brandon Moser
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket stands ready to launch Crew-6 from Kennedy Space Center's LC-39A.

SpaceX will try once again to launch a crew of four to the International Space Station just after midnight Thursday from Kennedy Space Center.

An attempt to launch the Crew-6 mission on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket early Monday morning was scrubbed in the final moments of the countdown. An issue with the ignition system of the rocket was to blame.

Teams on the ground found a clog in the filter that pumps the ignition fluid into the Falcon’s engines. The fluid triethylaluminum triethylboron, known as TEA-TEB, starts the nine engines of the Falcon rocket.

NASA said the issue has been resolved after SpaceX replaced the filter, purged the lines and verfied the system is ready for another launch attempt.

That means the multinational crew of two U.S. astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren "Woody" Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev will suit up and strap into the capsule for another launch attempt at 12:34 a.m. ET.

Once launched, it will take the crew 24.5 hours to catch up to the space station and dock. The crew will spend about a half a year living and working on the station before returning to Earth in their capsule.

Crew-5 Return

The members of the Crew-6 mission will relieve a crew of four who have been living and working on the space station since October.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina arrived at the station on a SpaceX Dragon capsule October 6, 2022. In their time at the station, the crew conducted hundreds of experiments including investigations into cardiovascular health, bioprinting and fluid behavior in microgravity.

The crew is set to return to Earth later this month in the same capsule that transported them to the station, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to Central Florida in 2005 to attend the University of Central Florida. He began working at WMFE as a college intern where he discovered his love for public radio.
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