A crewed mission by SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS) has been postponed by one day due to weather concerns, NASA said on Wednesday.
The flight was scheduled for Thursday, but due to inclement weather along the flight path, it will now be set for Friday, the US space agency said.
“Even if the conditions around the launch site were to be favorable for take-off, the teams must also take into account the conditions along the flight path”, NASA said in a statement. The mission will take off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
A SpaceX rocket has to carry four astronauts to the ISS since the United States resumed crewed space flight, and the first with a European, Frenchman Thomas Pesquet.
Also on the mission are American astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, as well as Akihiko Hoshide of the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA).
Launch Update 🚀 @NASA and @SpaceX now are targeting Friday, April 23 at 5:49 am ET for the launch of the Crew-2 mission to the @Space_Station due to unfavorable weather conditions along the flight path on Thursday.
– NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) April 21, 2021
The team of astronauts will be responsible for conducting many scientific experiments, such as examining the effects of weightlessness on brain organoids (mini-brains created in the laboratory).
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has established itself as NASA’s preferred transportation provider as the agency waits for Boeing’s Starliner capsule to perform key tests.
SpaceX’s first manned test flight in May 2020 ended nine years of U.S. reliance on Russian rockets for trips to the ISS after the Space Shuttle program disappeared.
Friday’s flight will reuse the booster rocket used in the Crew-1 mission – a first – and the Crew Dragon capsule will be the same one used in the test mission.