The scheduled launch of SpaceX to the International Space Station was disrupted due to technical issues and was postponed just two minutes before lift-off on Monday. A planned back-up opportunity for lift-off was scheduled for 28 February, but as per NASA, the bad weather has forced the mission to be delayed until 2 March. SpaceX along with NASA pushed the planned launch due to a technical issue with ignition fluid. The company’s smooth delivery on human missions for NASA has been disrupted. SpaceX due to its contract is supposed to handle similar flights right through 2030. The latest schedule of the space missions purchased from SpaceX by NASA roughly costs $287 million per flight. The space station has already been busy for a few months with the SpaceX and Northrop Grumman cargo flights plans. Big aviation, Boeing, also has plans to send two astronauts to ISS for the first time with its Starliner spacecraft in April.
SpaceX has rised as one of the world’s busiest rocket launcher and considers NASA as an essential customer. This delayed launch would be the seventh time the company blasts off a crew to the space station since 2020. Even after the technical issue forcing a delay, teams from NASA and SpaceX remained focused on safety of the launches. Bill Nelson, NASA’s administrator, mentioned that he appreciates this effort.
The astronaut crew for the flight left the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft due to the postponement. The space vehicle, along with the Falcon 9 booster, are supposedly safe, as per NASA. The quartet of astronauts will have to stay on board the ISS for approximately six months.
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SpaceX has also been simultaneously preparing to launch its Starship spacecraft to orbit for the first time. SpaceX has sold flights on those vehicles which are designed for deeper space missions. Private entities like Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa are one of them. NASA has booked SpaceX to send two agency astronauts to the surface of the moon on a variant of Starship. This is planned for 2025 and is part of the agency’s Artemis exploration program.