SpaceX cancels Crew Dragon launch at last minute on Monday, team of four to wait until Thursday for International Space Station flight
SpaceX on Monday scrubbed a launch planned to carry four astronauts to the International Space Station, in a last-minute decision it said resulted from a ground issue.
The cancellation, less than two and a half minutes before the launch slot at 0645 GMT, was due to a problem with the chemical triethylaluminum triethylboron, or TEA-TEB, that reacts with liquid oxygen to ignite the nine first-stage engines of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
A second attempt is due to take place on Thursday at 0534 GMT, as an earlier potential window on Tuesday was deemed unsuitable due to expected weather.
Space Station mission
The Crew-6 mission is due to transport NASA astronauts mission commander Stephen Bowen, 59, and Warren Hoburg, 37, as well as UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, 41, and cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
It’s the sixth operational astronaut mission SpaceX is scheduled to fly for NASA’s Commercial Crew Programme and SpaceX’s ninth crewed flight overall.
The mission is notable in that Alneyadi is only the UAE’s second citizen to fly to space and the first to launch from US soil as part of a long-duration space station team.
The country’s first-ever astronaut launched into orbit in 2019 aboard a Russian rocket.
SpaceX is also pressing ahead with a busy schedule of satellite launches for its Starlink broadband system, with a pair of rockets scheduled to take off less than an hour apart on Monday, the first from Cape Canaveral in Space Force Station in Florida at 1838 GMT and the second from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 1931 GMT.
The company similarly launched two Starlink missions earlier this month less than nine hours apart.