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NASA and SpaceX postpone the launch of the eighth manned commercial flight to the ISS for the second time

NASA and SpaceX have postponed until tomorrow the launch from Florida of their eighth manned commercial mission to the International Space Station (ISS), which they had planned to launch this Saturday.

This is the second time that the mission, made up of three Americans and one Russian, has had to be suspended and again due to “strong winds in the ascent corridor” of the Dragon rocket.

The mission is now scheduled to lift off on March 3 at 10:53 pm local time off the US East Coast (3:53 am GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida aboard the Dragon spacecraft, Endeavour, from platform 39A powered by a Falcon 9 rocket.

On board the new SpaceX Crew-8 commercial mission will be NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt and Jeanette Epps, and Russian agency Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin.

NASA and SpaceX began these commercial flights in 2020 that allowed the United States to send astronauts again from American soil after the cancellation of the space shuttle program in 2011.

Since the last flight of the Atlantis shuttle to Earth orbit in 2011, NASA has been forced to use only Russian launch systems, such as the Soyuz, to launch its astronauts into orbit.

The so-called Commercial Crew Program (CCP) seeks to provide the United States with “safe, reliable and cost-effective human transportation” to and from the ISS through a partnership with American private industry.

This is the eighth rotational flight for a new crew and the ninth human spaceflight mission on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to the ISS for CCP.

As with previous missions in the program, astronauts will remain aboard the ISS for six months, living and working as part of what is expected to be an 11-member crew for a few days.

For now, the current ISS crew, seven members of Expedition 70, is preparing to receive the quartet from Crew-8, which will dock at the advanced port of the Harmony module about a day after takeoff.

The new companions will investigate a multitude of space phenomena to improve the lives of humans living on and off Earth.

They will explore the mechanisms behind neurological disorders and ways to prevent fluid changes that occur in astronauts living in space.

They will also look at how microgravity affects plant growth and the role of algae in improving spacecraft life support systems.

On the ISS, around seven days after their arrival, they tried to help the crew of SpaceX Crew-7 Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen, from the European Space Agency (ESA), Satoshi Furukawa, from the Japanese JAXA, and Konstantin Borisov. , from Roscosmos.

These four members, who have been aboard the space station since August 27, will disconnect from the spaceport aboard a Dragon spacecraft, Endurance.

Source: Elcomercio

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