SpaceX gears up for second attempt to launch 4 fresh crew members to space station

SpaceX crew docks at International Space Station


SpaceX geared up Friday for a second attempt to launch a Crew Dragon spacecraft early Saturday on a flight to carry a crew of three-men and one-woman to the International Space Station to replace four other fliers wrapping up a six-month stay.

Liftoff from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center is targeted for 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, kicking off a 29-hour rendezvous with the space station, setting up a docking at 8:39 a.m. local time on Sunday.

The Crew-7 Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon astronaut ferry ship awaiting launch atop pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.


Crew-7 commander Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japanese astronaut-surgeon Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov are the first fully international crew to fly aboard a SpaceX ferry ship.

They plan to replace Crew-6 commander Stephen Bowen, pilot Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who were launched to the station last March.

NASA and SpaceX had planned to launch the Crew-7 mission early Friday, but the flight was scrubbed late Thursday when mission managers decided “open paperwork” concerning components in the Crew Dragon’s life support system — components that worked normally during pre-flight tests — had not been fully closed out.

“Teams decided to take additional time to reconfirm required factors of safety and operational margin on one of the Dragon spacecraft’s environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) components,” NASA said in a blog post.

The specific valves in question aboard the Crew-7 Dragon awaiting launch and the Crew-6 Dragon currently docked at the space station “are performing normally, and performed as expected in all pre-flight testing,” the blog post said.

No other details were provided.

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