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NASA, SpaceX Crew-3 launch delayed to Nov 6

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Washington, Nov 2 (IANS) NASA has delayed the upcoming launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission due to a minor medical issue involving one of its crew members.

The space agency is now looking for potential launch opportunities “at the end of the week”… “the earliest possible opportunity for launch is 11:36 p.m. EDT Saturday, November 6”, NASA said in a statement.

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The Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station was earlier planned for October 31 but was postponed, due to unfavourable weather, to November 3.

Even as the teams will continue to monitor crew health, Crew-3 astronauts will remain in quarantine at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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However, the space agency clarified that the medical “issue is not a medical emergency and not related to Covid-19”.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are in good shape and will remain at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy.

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The Crew-3 flight will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month science mission, staying aboard until late April 2022.

This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Programme.

Aboard Dragon with the crew will be more than 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, including over 150 pounds of which they will use to conduct experiments aboard the space station. Here is some of the research riding with them into low-Earth orbit.

In addition to the experiments flying with them aboard Dragon, the Crew-3 astronauts are also scheduled to conduct many additional experiments and technology demonstrations during their mission.

Crew-3 is crucial for the testing of new upgrades to the space station’s Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), including the newly installed toilet, the Brine Processing Assembly, carbon dioxide scrubbers, and two new hydrogen sensors slated to arrive aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon in late December.

–IANS

rvt/bg

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