‘Minor medical issue’ delays Crew-3 launch
NASA is delaying the launch of Crew-3 to the International Space Station because of a minor medical issue involving one of the mission’s four 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,” NASA said in an update. “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.”
NASA and SpaceX are said the earliest launch opportunity is now 11:36 p.m. EDT Nov. 6 (3:36 UTC Nov. 7), 2021, for the Crew-3 mission to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“Teams will continue to monitor crew health as they evaluate potential launch opportunities at the end of the week,” the agency said.
Crew-3 is slated to take NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron as well as European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer to the International Space Station for a six month stay aboard the orbiting outpost.
The flight was initially supposed to take to the skies on Oct. 31. However, that was delayed because of expected inclement weather in the Falcon 9’s ascent corridor.
This is the third crew rotation mission by SpaceX for NASA and the first flight of Crew Dragon Endurance.
Several days after docking with the ISS, the Crew-2 astronauts — NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet — are slated to return to Earth in Crew Dragon Endeavour. They have been aboard the outpost since April 2021.
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity. You can find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.