Hawthorne-based SpaceX on Saturday postponed the planned launch of another group of astronauts to the International Space Station as part of its contract with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to transport personnel forward- post in orbit.
The four-member crew was scheduled to take off on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 11:21 p.m. KST on Saturday.
But out of caution due to a storm in the northeastern United States, the agency is now targeting the backup launch window, which opens at 10:10 p.m. California time on Wednesday.
NASA astronaut Raja Chari, mission commander, will fly aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will also be on board.
The astronauts were nicknamed Crew-3, as part of SpaceX’s third official manned flight to the space station. They will be greeted on arrival by the four crew members of SpaceX’s last manned flight, Crew-2, who have been on board the station since April.
This crew – NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet – are expected to return to Earth in early November. aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule.
McArthur, who grew up in northern California, graduated from UCLA in aerospace engineering and earned a doctorate in oceanography from UC San Diego, where she was a research fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
In November 2020, SpaceX sent its first official crew to the space station in a separate Dragon spacecraft, dubbed Resilience.
SpaceX’s first manned mission to the space station took place last summer with the launch of two astronauts from Cape Canaveral into the Endeavor capsule, a flight that marked the first manned mission to be launched from US soil since the withdrawal. of the space shuttle program. But this trip has technically been called a demonstration flight to test the capabilities of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.