CAPE CANAVERAL (Fla.) SpaceX will not launch a scary astronaut this Halloween.
SpaceX and NASA delayed the next launch of four astronauts from the International Space Station because of unfavorable weather conditions.
Crew-3 was to be launched by a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, and a Falcon 9 rocket, from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA today announced a 72-hour delay due to poor weather conditions on the rocket's flight path. SpaceX now plans to launch the rocket on Wednesday, November 3. Liftoff will take place at 1:10 AM EDT (0510 GMT).
The launch can be viewed live on Space.com and here, thanks to NASA. Or, you can directly contact the space agency. The coverage begins Tuesday at 8:45 PM EDT (0045 GMT Sunday).
SpaceX's Crew-3 mission to the astronauts is live updated
SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endurance (SpaceX) and its Falcon 9 rocket are pictured atop Pad 39A, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The launch was delayed until Nov. 3, 2021. SpaceX, Image Credit
Officials from NASA and SpaceX wrote in a blog that they now target 1:10 AM EDT Wednesday, Nov. 3 for their Crew-3 launch to International Space Station. This was due to a large storm system that passed through the Ohio Valley and northeastern United States this Saturday, raising winds and waves in Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight track for the Oct. 31 launch.
Forecasters predicted that the weather at Cape Canaveral would be favorable for launch day with a 90% chance for favorable conditions. Unfortunately, the weather downrange doesn't look so promising. SpaceX needs good weather at its launch location and a splashdown area downrange in the event of an emergency. NASA will attempt to launch the mission again Wednesday (Nov. 3) if it fails to land on Sunday.
Crew-3 is comprised of three NASA astronauts as well as one international spaceflyer. Raja Chari of NASA is the commander. Fellow NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron will serve as pilots and mission specialists. Matthias Maurer from the European Space Agency will also be aboard, becoming the 600th person to reach space. It will be the first spaceflight of Chari, Barron and Maurer.
"You don’t see many rookie commanders," Holly Ridings (chief flight director for Flight Operations Directorate NASA’s Johnson Space Center), stated during a prelaunch briefing. It's just a testimony to how amazing he is. He's as incredibly, incredibly competent as any of them.
"But, in particular, he has just done an outstanding job."
Crew-3 astronauts from SpaceX smiled during a launch rehearsal in their Crew Dragon Endurance capsule, Oct. 28, 2021. This was before their launch to the International Space Station on November 3, 2021. SpaceX image credit
Crew-3 will also mark both the 129th launch of Falcon 9 rockets so far this year and the 93rd return of a first stage booster, if everything goes according to plan. SpaceX's drone ship "Just Read the Instructions", which is currently positioned in the Atlantic Ocean, awaits its scheduled recovery attempt. The first stage of two-stage rockets will touch down on the deck at the ship's massive vessel approximately nine minutes after liftoff.
This mission features a rocket that has only flown once. It had previously lifted a Dragon spacecraft as part of a cargo resupply mission. The rocket rolled onto the pad Wednesday morning. SpaceX later that night tested its engines, certifying it was ready to go.