With SpaceX rocket issue sorted, NASA ready to send four astronauts to ISS

NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company, who represent the crew of NASA’s Crew-1 mission, inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.


SpaceX and NASA say they’ve sorted out a hiccup seen recently in a Falcon 9 rocket and are aiming to ship 4 astronauts to the Worldwide House Station aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on Nov. 14.

On Oct. 2, a deliberate Falcon 9 launch of a US House Drive GPS satellite tv for pc was routinely aborted only a few seconds earlier than liftoff. An ensuing investigation revealed that two of the rocket’s 9 Merlin engines had tried to start out early, triggering the automated abort.

In a name with reporters on Wednesday, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX vice chairman for construct and flight reliability, defined that the abort prevented a “laborious begin” that would’ve completed some injury to the engines.

The engines had been faraway from the rocket for testing, and a few blockage in a tiny reduction valve line was found. A crimson masking lacquer, just like one thing like nail polish, was apparently dislodged throughout cleansing and washed right into a tiny gap, about one-sixteenth of an inch (1.57 millimeters) throughout, the place it then hardened and blocked the road. 

Koenigsmann stated SpaceX “discovered the identical tendencies” on engines for use for the Crew-1 launch in addition to the deliberate Nov. 10 launch of NASA’s Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc to observe sea ranges worldwide. 

The suspect engines have been swapped out, and NASA and SpaceX now say they anticipate to be able to launch on Nov. 14.

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon launches to the ISS


The Crew-1 mission marks the primary crewed flight to the ISS for the reason that Demo-1 flight of a Crew Dragon carried NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken there; that landmark flight was the primary crewed flight from US soil for the reason that finish of the House Shuttle program.

When Crew-1 delivers NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover and Shannon Walker, together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company’s Soichi Noguchi, to the ISS, it’s going to increase the area station’s crew measurement to seven individuals, permitting for extra analysis to be completed in orbit.

Crew-1 is ready to launch from Kennedy House Heart in Florida on Nov. 14 at 4:49 p.m. PT (7:49 p.m. ET).

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Eric Mack