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It didn't! SpaceX postpones astronaut launch once again

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It is not easy to launch SpaceX's Crew-8 mission, which is expected to place a new crew of astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). The launch was scheduled for this Sunday morning (3), but due to strong winds, it was postponed for 24 hours.

What do you need to know?

  • Crew-8 mission postponed again;
  • This is the third consecutive postponement;
  • New launch forecast is at 00:53 (Brasília time) this Monday (4).

The new forecast from Elon Musk's space company is that the crew can be launched at 00:53 (Brasília time) this Monday (4). Takeoff should take place from block 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida (USA).

In a brief statement announcing the new date, NASA said: “Due to weather, we are suspending today’s launch attempt.” This is the third consecutive postponement of the mission, which should have taken place in February.

Launch of the Crew-7 mission, currently aboard the International Space Station. The Crew-8 crew will be launched as a replacement. Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Launch of Crew-8 to the ISS

The four crew members of the Crew-8 mission arrived at the launch site in Florida on the 25th. Matthew Dominick, Michael Barrett, Jeannette Epps (all three, from NASA) and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin will board the Dragon Endeavor capsule.

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Dominick will be the commander of the Crew-8 flight, while Barrett (the only one among the four who has been to space before) will be the pilot. Epps and Grekenkin will serve as mission specialists. Upon arriving at the orbital laboratory, the team will replace the Crew-7 astronauts, who will return to Earth a week later.

Members of the SpaceX Crew-8 mission. Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

The Crew-8 mission will be the fifth flight of the Dragon Endeavor capsule, which took astronauts to the ISS for the first time in May 2020, on SpaceX's first manned space flight, Demo-2. SpaceX and NASA are currently working to certify reusable Dragon capsules for up to 15 space flights. It will be launched from a Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX is one of two commercial companies with multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA to fly astronauts to and from the ISS. The other company is Boeing, which intends to launch the first manned flight on its Starliner spacecraft this semester.



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