SpaceX was set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station under a full moon on Halloween Sunday, but NASA and SpaceX delayed the launch to Wednesday due to weather conditions over the Atlantic Ocean.
“@NASA’s @SpaceX #Crew3 mission is now targeted for Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 1:10am ET due to a large storm system elevating winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight path for the Oct. 31 launch attempt,” NASA Commercial Crew announced on Twitter on Saturday.
The Wednesday launch is scheduled to take place out of the Kennedy Space Center, and the backup plan will be launching on Thursday at 12:47 a.m. ET
“Right now, weather at the launch site is looking great,” Kathy Lueders, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight, told reporters Friday before the updated weather briefing. “We look at the weather along key high-risk areas to make sure abort weather looks good.”
Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a long-duration science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew.
Wednesday’s launch marks the fourth crewed mission for SpaceX under contract with NASA and fifth overall when including private spaceflight. Known as Crew-3, the four astronauts will spend about six months on the ISS conducting science experiments, spacewalks and maintaining the station with Russian counterparts.
Crew-2, made up of another four astronauts, launched in April and is set to return to Earth in November, around the same time as Crew-3 takes off. Crew-2 marked the first time NASA agreed to launch astronauts on a recycled Falcon 9 rocket.
The Dragon spacecraft utilized in the Crew-3 mission has participated in 30 total launches and is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth, and is the first private spacecraft to take humans to the space station.
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Recently, Morgan Stanley predicted that SpaceX would make Elon Musk the world’s first trillionaire, after Forbes released a piece claiming that SpaceX, a private company, had an estimated valuation of $100 billion among investors.
The reusability of SpaceX’s rockets are a key reason why SpaceX is a highly valued company because they drive down the incremental cost of each launch, claims Morgan Stanley.
You can watch the Crew-3 launch live on www.spacex.com/launches.
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