NASA and SpaceX are standing down from the Friday, August 25, launch opportunity for the agency’s Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station. Launch now is targeted at 3:27 a.m. Saturday, August 26, for SpaceX’s seventh crew rotation mission to the microgravity laboratory for NASA.
When NASA or any other space agency refers to a launch being “scrubbed,” it means that the planned launch of a rocket or spacecraft has been canceled for that specific launch window. A launch can be scrubbed for various reasons, including:
- Weather Conditions: If there are adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds, thunderstorms, or other conditions that might compromise the safety of the launch, it might be scrubbed.
- Technical Issues: Any technical or mechanical issue identified with the rocket, spacecraft, or ground equipment can lead to a scrub. This can range from software glitches to hardware malfunctions.
- Range Safety: The area around the launch pad and the flight path of the rocket (referred to as the range) needs to be clear of vessels, aircraft, and other potential obstacles. If there’s an intrusion into this area, the launch could be scrubbed for safety reasons.
- Health and Safety: Especially with manned missions, if there’s a health concern with any of the astronauts or even ground crew, the launch could be postponed.
When a launch is scrubbed, the agency will often try to identify a new launch window as soon as possible, depending on the reason for the scrub. If it’s weather-related, the next window could be the next day or even a few hours later. If it’s a technical issue, the delay could be longer while the problem is diagnosed and fixed.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission is set to launch four crew members to the International Space Station (ISS). The crew includes NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos’s Konstantin Borisov. These astronauts will be launching from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to conduct research, technology demonstrations, and maintenance tasks on the ISS.
While on the space station, Crew-7 will engage in over 200 scientific experiments and technology demonstrations, ranging from microbial sample collection from the ISS’s exterior to studies on astronauts’ sleep. The mission is part of NASA’s effort to make the most of the space station’s capabilities, which has been a hub of continuous human activity for over 22 years, serving as a platform for research and skill development. The findings from the ISS help improve life on Earth and prepare astronauts for future longer-duration space trips, such as the upcoming NASA’s Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond.