After the successful launch of the crew demo expedition by NASA and SpaceX back in May, the two agencies are getting ready for another manned mission this year. The companies have revealed that the upcoming Crew-1 mission will take place at the end of this month, on October 31st.
The Crew-1 mission has previously had the launch date set for October 23rd, but the two agencies have delayed the expedition. The mission will transport four astronauts to the International Space Station and will be the first space flight from an upcoming series of flights that takes off from American soil.
This expedition marks a historic collaboration between the two space agencies as this year was the first that NASA astronauts were transported to the ISS from American soil. The original launch date was changed because it conflicted with other missions that utilized the Russian Soyuz rockets, therefore, giving NASA and SpaceX some more time to prepare it.
“This additional time is needed to ensure closure of all open work, both on the ground and aboard the station, ahead of the Crew-1 arrival,” Said Tori McClendon of NASA. “The increased spacing will also provide a good window of opportunity to conduct additional testing to isolate the station atmosphere leak if required.”
Last-Minute Mission Abort Ahead Crew-1 Expedition
Besides the upcoming Crew-1 mission, SpaceX had recently been forced to abort a new Starlink launch seconds before it was going to take off. There were reportedly 18 seconds left before SpaceX had to cancel the mission, and although the cause for the last-minute abort hasn’t yet been revealed, it is believed that it may have something to do with an abnormal ground sensor reading at the launchpad.
“Targeting Thursday, October 1st, a 9:17 a.m. EDT for the launch of Starlink. Due to a conflict on the Range, now targeting launch of GPS III04 on Friday, October 2nd, a 15-minute window opens at 9:43 a.m. EDT,” said the agency in a statement.
While the abort came last-minute, it was not entirely surprising as the U.S. Space Force predicted that SpaceX had only a 70 percent chance of good weather for the launch window.