NASA delayed the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission from early to mid-November, the agency announced Saturday. The mission will eventually bring three NASA astronauts and astronauts from Japan’s JAXA space agency to the International Space Station.
The planned six-month mission, originally scheduled for October 31st, was postponed to give time to tackle the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage engine gas generator problem. NASA said in a statement. When the launch begins, American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will board SpaceX’s first ISS crew mission.
Crew-1 is one of six missions SpaceX plans to send to ISS under a contract with NASA, and was awarded as part of the Commercial Crew Program, which introduced private sector companies into the US space program in 2014.
SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon flight, the DM-2 or Demo-2, was a test mission that brought NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS for two months in May. Crew Dragon moored at the ISS and safely returned to Earth on August 2nd, and NASA provided the data necessary to certify its scheduled trip to and from the ISS with future astronauts.
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