NASA

NASA halts SpaceX launch over medical issue with crew member

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Monday that it is delaying the launch of its SpaceX Crew-3 mission due to a medical issue with one of the crew members. 

NASA said in a blog post that the “earliest possible opportunity” for launch is at 11:36 p.m. ET on Saturday. 

The medical issue was not related to COVID-19, the agency said. The astronauts will stay in quarantine at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida while preparing for the launch.

“Teams will continue to monitor crew health as they evaluate potential launch opportunities at the end of the week,” the agency said. The Space X Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 Rocket are both in good shape, according to the space agency.

The announcement comes after the original launch was pushed back from Sunday to Wednesday due to weather issues in the northeastern portion of the U.S., which elevated winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean.  

The Crew-3 flight to the International Space Station is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, as well as the fourth flight with astronauts as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. 

The mission is also SpaceX’s fifth human space flight since May 2020, according to the company’s website.

The crew members are NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency.

The flight was originally set to launch Sunday, and the crew was projected to arrive roughly 22 hours later on Monday. The astronauts are expected to return to Earth in Spring 2022. 

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