NASA is delaying the upcoming launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission due to a minor medical issue involving one of its crew members. The issue is not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19. The launch to the International Space Station was planned for Wednesday, Nov. 3.
The agency takes every effort to protect the crew prior to its launch through a health stabilization plan. Crew-3 astronauts will remain in quarantine at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida while preparing for their launch.
Teams will continue to monitor crew health as they evaluate potential launch opportunities at the end of the week. The earliest possible opportunity for launch is 11:36 p.m. EDT Saturday, Nov. 6.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are in good shape and will remain at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy.
The Crew-3 flight will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month science mission, staying aboard until late April 2022.
This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
NASA also will continue to evaluate dates for a return to Earth for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Mission teams are reviewing options including both direct and indirect handovers for the upcoming crew rotation at the microgravity laboratory. Teams will review all options for safely launching and returning crew members and continue the agency’s important work on the International Space Station.