Space

NASA Delays SpaceX Crew-5 Launch Due to Hurricane Ian

Crew Dragon Endurance Spacecraft for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Mission

The Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission arrives at the hangar at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida on September 23, 2022. The capsule arrived at the launch complex after making the short journey from its nearby processing facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: SpaceX

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station was scheduled to launch on October 3 before being delayed until October 4 due to Hurricane Ian. Now it is delayed one more day, until October 5, again due to Hurricane Ian.

NASA and SpaceX are currently targeting no earlier than noon EDT Wednesday, October 5, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with a U.S. Eastern Range backup date on October 7. Mission management teams also are investigating potential range opportunities on October 6 pending review of the phasing timeline, October 8, and October 9.

Mission teams continue to monitor the impacts of Hurricane Ian on the Space Coast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Depending on the conditions, it may be necessary to adjust the launch date again. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 28, Kennedy Space Center declared “HURCON I” status with the ride-out team sheltered in place at their designated locations until the storm passes.

From left, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata will travel to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. Credit: NASA

In the coming days, more updates on the planning schedule, including crew arrival from the agency’s Johnson Space Center to Kennedy, will be provided, depending on weather and center status. As always, the safety of the crew, ground teams, and hardware remain of the utmost importance to NASA and SpaceX.

Currently, the Dragon Endurance spacecraft is mated to the Falcon 9 rocket and safely secured inside SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A. After the storm progresses, teams from NASA and SpaceX will evaluate the potential impacts to the center and determine whether it is necessary to adjust the mission timeline further.

The Dragon Endurance spacecraft for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission arrives at the hangar at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida on September 23, 2022. The capsule arrived at the launch complex after making the short journey from its nearby processing facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: SpaceX

Undocking of the agency’s Crew-4 mission from the space station will move day-for-day along with the Crew-5 launch date. This will allow a planned five-day direct handover between crews.

The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.

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