While 2020 hasn’t been good for many people, it has been rather successful for SpaceX.
In August SpaceX Crew Dragon splashed down after a successful journey to and from the International Space Station (ISS) and now its eyeing another launch.
This launch will be the NASA SpaceX Crew-1 mission.
The mission will ferry NASA astroauts, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Soichi Noguchi to the ISS “no sooner than early-to-mid November”.
Now those keeping score will note that NASA had originally planned to launch this mission in September. So what is the reason for the delay?
To put it simply, it’s rocket science.
SpaceX is currently completing hardware testing and data reviews prompted by “off-nominal behaviour of Falcon 9 first stage engine gas generators observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt”.
That launch attempt was to send 60 more Starlink satellites to space but an unexpected reading forced SpaceX to scrub the launch.
“With the high cadence of missions SpaceX performs, it really gives us incredible insight into this commercial system and helps us make informed decisions about the status of our missions. The teams are actively working this finding on the engines, and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week,” said associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Kathy Lueders.
Ahead of that launch, NASA offered a bit of insight to what the mission will entail.
The crew will head to the ISS where they will integrate with Expedition 64 astornaut Kate Rubins as well as Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.
During their stay the crew will see unpiloted spacecraft bound for the ISS and conduct spacewalks. The astronauts will also welcome the next SpaceX Crew Dragon in 2021.
Here’s hoping that complications don’t further delay the launch of this mission, especially if we hope to see men and women on the Moon by 2024.[Source – NASA]