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SpaceX Launch Delayed Due to ‘Minor Medical Issue’

This is the second time the launch has been delayed in a week

NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission has been delayed due to a “minor medical issue.”

The flight was scheduled to take off on Nov. 2 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In a statement, NASA confirmed that the four astronauts would stay in quarantine and that the medical issue was not related to COVID-19 nor was it an emergency.

“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 agency said.

The spacecraft, a SpaceX Crew Dragon, and the Falcon 9 rockets are “in good shape” and will still stay at Launch Complex 39A, according to NASA’s statement.

The team of astronauts includes mission commander Raja Chari, pilot Tom Marshburn, mission specialist Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. As part of their science mission, the crew will stay at the International Space Station for six months and return in April of 2022.

During their six months aboard the ISS, the Crew-3 astronauts are slated to do multiple spacewalks for space station maintenance and also help perform scientific research in orbit involving fiberoptics, growing plants without soil and how astronauts’ eyes change from exposure to space, among other experiments,” per CNET.

While they are there, two groups of tourists will visit the space station. In late 2021, a group from Japan will orbit via a Russian Soyuz capsule. Then, at the beginning of 2022, Axiom Space will conduct its initial private astronaut flight to the ISS.

In May of 2020, a Crew Dragon flight ended a nine-year human space flight hiatus.

The launch had previously been scheduled for the morning of Oct. 31 but was canceled due to poor weather conditions. The flight was conducted by astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who rode the craft to the ISS. The Crew Dragon is one of two vehicles approved for commercial crews by NASA.

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