NASA has delayed the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission until early- to mid-November, the agency announced Saturday. The mission eventually will bring three NASA astronauts and an astronaut from Japan’s JAXA space agency to the International Space Station.
Originally scheduled for October 31st, the planned six-month mission was delayed to allow time to resolve issues with the first-stage engine gas generators on the Falcon 9 rocket, NASA said in a statement. When it does launch, American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, plus Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will be aboard SpaceX’s first operational crewed mission to the ISS.
Crew-1 is among six planned missions SpaceX plans to send to the ISS under a contract with NASA, awarded in 2014 as part of the Commercial Crew Program that brought private sector companies into the US space program.
SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon flight, the DM-2, or Demo-2, was a test mission that brought NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS in May for a two-month visit. The Crew Dragon docked with the ISS and returned safely to Earth on August 2nd, giving NASA the data it needed to certify regular trips to and from the ISS with astronauts aboard in the future.