West News Wire: Due to issues with the ignition system, a joint SpaceX and NASA mission to deliver a crew to the International Space Station (ISS) was aborted before launch. The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket was just minutes away.
On Monday, the Crew-6 mission was scheduled to depart for the ISS, but the launch was postponed even though all of the astronauts were already aboard the Dragon spacecraft on the Falcon 9 rocket. The first-stage Merlin engine’s ignition issues were mentioned by the space agency. According to SpaceX systems engineer Kate Tice, who was speaking during the webcast of the launch event, the decision to cancel and postpone the mission was made “out of an abundance of caution.” NASA astronauts Warren “Woody” Wood and Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson wrote on the space agency’s official blog that he is proud of the staff’s “focus and dedication to keeping Crew-6 safe.” He added: “Human spaceflight is an inherently risky endeavor and, as always, we will fly when we are ready.” Launching on the next day was considered, but ultimately turned down due to poor weather. The new mission date has been set for March 2.
US governmental space agency NASA has been cooperating since 2020 with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private company SpaceX. The company’s Falcon 9 rockets experienced a few well-publicized accidents during test launches in 2012 and 2016.
Space exploration remains one of the few sectors where the US and Russia still cooperate, as evidenced by the cosmonaut in the SpaceX crew. Despite tensions between Washington and Moscow, NASA and Roscosmos still enjoy a partnership when it comes to the maintenance of the ISS.
On Sunday, the Russian Soyuz MS-23 spaceship docked to the orbiting station to secure a way back for cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, as well as US astronaut Francisco Rubio later in September.