NASA and one of the SpaceX crew postponed a rocket takeoff carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) for the second time in a few days on Monday due to a “minor health problem”.
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The issue is “not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19,” NASA said in a statement without elaborating.
The agency said U.S. astronauts Raja Chari, Kyla Baron and Tom Marshburn, as well as German astronaut Matthias Maurer, were pending at the Kennedy Space Center.
The first was scheduled to depart early Sunday morning. However the flight had already been postponed to Wednesday due to adverse weather.
The launch is now scheduled for Saturday 23:36 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
NASA did not say which of the astronauts suffered from this health problem.
This mission, called Crew-3, is the third common manned mission provided by SpaceX on behalf of the US space agency. After the shutdown of the spacecraft in 2011, Elon Musk allowed NASA to resume flights from American soil.
The astronauts are expected to spend about six months in orbit and perform several experiments in this flying laboratory.
They will replace four Crew-2 astronauts, including Thomas Pesquet, a Frenchman who has been on the ISS since April.
The return of Crew-2 to Earth is usually scheduled for “early November”, but NASA said Monday it would “continue to estimate dates” and not rule out an “indirect handover” rather than a direct one between the two crews.