NASA and SpaceX postponed the launch of the next long-duration crew to the International Space Station early on Monday, minutes before the rocket was due to lift off, citing a problem with ground systems used to monitor the flow of an engine-ignition fluid. The four-man crew consists of two U.S. astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut, and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates. The countdown had seemed to be progressing smoothly until about 2-1/2 minutes before launch time, when NASA and SpaceX announced during NASA’s live webcast that the flight was being scrubbed for the day. Mission managers have already opted to forgo the next launch opportunity early on Tuesday, due to an unfavorable weather forecast, NASA said. The SpaceX launch vehicle consisting of a Falcon 9 rocket topped with its Crew Dragon capsule remains in place at Launch Complex 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The trip to the International Space Station (ISS), a laboratory orbiting about 250 miles (420 km) above Earth, was expected to take about 25 hours, and the astronauts are expected to spend six months conducting a wide range of science experiments in microgravity. The mission is led by mission commander Stephen Bowen, 59, and fellow NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg, 37. The Crew 6 mission also includes UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, 41, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, 41.
Today: December 1, 2023