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NASA and SpaceX put Crew-6 launch on hold for one more day

Published Feb 22nd, 2023 1:04PM EST
SpaceX Docking to ISS
Image: wowinside/Adobe and NASA

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The latest SpaceX astronaut mission has been delayed by one day, according to NASA. The mission, known formally as Crew-6, was originally planned to take four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, February 26. Now, though, NASA and SpaceX have delayed the launch of Crew-6 to Monday, February 27, at 1:45 a.m. ET.

The delay follows a rather lengthy flight readiness review on February 21, which saw NASA and SpaceX determining that a delay of 24 hours would be best for the Crew-6 launch. This additional time will allow launch teams to work on a few minor issues reported to affect the Endeavour and Falcon 9 rocket which will carry the mission into orbit.

SpaceX Launches Starlink Satellites From Florida, US - 04 May 2021
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket heads for orbit after lifting off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Image source:

One big point of contention holding up the Crew-6 launch appears to be tied to the thermal performance of the “pod panels” that cover the exterior of the Endeavour pod. The launch teams also want to look at the Falcon 9’s composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), which are bottles of helium found in the rocket’s liquid-oxygen tank.

Officials also noted a possible issue with “evidence of some combustion” in one of the engine bays on the Falcon 9, which appeared during a recent launch of Starlink satellites. NASA and SpaceX expect Endeavour and the Falcon 9 rocket to be cleared for the Crew-6 launch before Monday, February 27.

Because the rocket is expected to launch at night, we’ll likely see some spectacular lights in the sky when it does. Previously observers reported seeing a whirlpool in the sky following the launch of a SpaceX rocket, which was caused by the rocket’s upper stage venting post-deorbit fuel.

You can tune into the Crew-6’s launch on Monday. For now, check out the last launch on SpaceX’s YouTube. You can take a trip to space and back with this fun SpaceX video.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.