Hawthorne-based SpaceX’s planned launch of another set of astronauts to the International Space Station was delayed again on Monday, November 1, this time due to a “minor medical problem” with one of the astronauts.
The four-man crew was originally scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last Saturday at 11:21 a.m. California time from Cape Canaveral, Florida. But due to bad weather, the flight was pushed back this Wednesday at 10:10 p.m. California time.
On Monday, however, SpaceX announced a further delay in the flight, citing a “minor medical problem involving one of its crew members.” The flight is now scheduled for liftoff at 8:36 p.m. California time on Saturday.
According to NASA, the issue is “not a medical emergency nor related to COVID-19.”
According to NASA, “the agency makes every effort to protect the crew prior to launch through a health stabilization plan.” “Crew-3 astronauts will remain in quarantine at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during preparation for their launch.”
NASA astronaut Raja Chari, who flew on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance, will be the mission commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Also aboard will be European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, who is also a mission specialist.
The astronauts have been dubbed Crew-3 as part of SpaceX’s third official manned flight to the space station. He will be greeted upon arrival by the four-man crew of Crew-2, the last manned SpaceX flight, which has been aboard the station since April.
That crew – NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan MacArthur, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet – returned to Earth in early November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavor. are supposed to.
MacArthur, who grew up in Northern California, is a UCLA graduate in aerospace engineering, and earned her doctorate in oceanography at UC San Diego, where she was a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
In November 2020, SpaceX sent its first official crew to the space station in a separate Dragon spacecraft called Resilience.
SpaceX’s first manned mission to the space station coincided with the launch of two astronauts from Cape Canaveral in an Endeavor capsule last summer, a flight that marked the first manned mission to launch from American soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program. did. But that trip was technically dubbed a demonstration flight to test the capabilities of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.