NASA, SpaceX Targeting Oct. 5 To Launch Crew-5 Astronauts After Ian Delays

NASA and SpaceX are now planning to send a crew of three astronauts to the International Space Station on Wednesday, October 5. If everything stays the same, the Crew-5 mission will take off from Kennedy Space Center launchpad 39A at noon EDT on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft. The backup launch dates are Oct. 7 and maybe Oct. 6–9, depending on what the review says.

Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada from NASA, Koichi Wakata from the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), and Anna Kikina from Roscosmos have been at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for the last few weeks before they head to Florida to launch with SpaceX and (Tesla Delivered A Record 343,830 Vehicles)

NASA, Spacex Crew-5 Astronauts
NASA, SpaceX Crew-5 Astronauts

The astronauts got to KSC on Saturday, and on Sunday, they did a dry run of the launch countdown. For the first time since 2020, when SpaceX started sending NASA astronauts into space from American soil, a seat on the commercial spacecraft was traded between the Russian Space Agency and NASA. The first cosmonaut to fly with SpaceX will be Kikina.

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Before Hurricane Ian, which hit Southwest Florida on Wednesday and killed dozens of people and caused a lot of damage, the Crew-5 astronaut launch had already been moved around a few times.

NASA wrote in a blog post, “Mission teams are still watching how Ian affects the Space Coast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If necessary, the launch date could be changed again.” “At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, Kennedy Space Center declared HURCON I status, and the ride-out team stayed in place until the storm passed.”

Before the storm, the space center shut down and moved the Artemis-1 SLS moon rocket back into the Vehicle Assembly Building. NASA had planned to launch the SLS moon rocket by the end of September, but now it will have to wait until November.

The original launch date for Crew-5 was in September. However, the mission’s Falcon 9 booster was damaged on the way to KSC, which pushed back the launch date. This launch will be the fifth mission in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which pays SpaceX and, starting next year, Boeing to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

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