The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said that NASA’s next launch window for the SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station has been delayed for at least two days until April 22.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private rocket company SpaceX has planned to bring its second “operational” space station team into NASA orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in late March. But NASA announced in January that the target date had been postponed to April 20.

NASA spokesman Dan Huot said on Monday that, driven by orbital mechanics, the timetable was adjusted again based on the available flight time to the space station, which would minimize the sleep needs of astronauts.

The flight is only the second time that a private company’s spacecraft has launched the second mature space station personnel rotation mission-a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket equipped with the “Crew Dragon” capsule, which will be brought into orbit.

The four-member SpaceX Crew-2 consists of two NASA astronauts, mission commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency space expert Thomas Pesquet.

After docking with the space station, they will join the four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts who arrived in November and carry the astronauts on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft to the orbital outpost.

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The newly arrived Crew-2 will stay in orbit for 6 months, and Crew-1 will return to Earth in early May.

MacArthur will be the second person in her family to take the crew dragon into space. Her husband, Bob Behnken, was one of two astronauts launched by NASA’s first crewed Crew Dragon. In August last year, this was a test flight, marking the first manned space mission of NASA in 9 years and the first time that the U.S. space shuttle completed its space shuttle program in 2011.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©


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