FLORIDA: A fresh crew of astronauts was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and NASA, a week after the launch was delayed after a problem with the ground system.
The crew – including two NASA astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut, and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates- are expected to reach the ISS outpost early Friday to begin a six-month stay, CNN reported.
The mission was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 12:34 am ET today.
CNN reported that after reaching the ISS- a laboratory outpost orbiting about 420 km above Earth- the vehicle carrying the astronauts Crew Dragon separated from the rocket.
It is anticipated that it would spend about a day navigating through space before connecting with the space station. The capsule is expected to dock on Friday at 1:17 am ET.
The first launch attempt of the mission, known as Crew-6 was aborted on Monday due to what the authorities claimed was a clogged filter.
An update from NASA published on its website early on Wednesday read, “Following a thorough review of the data and of the ground system, NASA and SpaceX found there was a reduced flow back to the ground TEA-TEB catch tank due to a blocked ground filter.”
According to NASA, as cited by CNN, the clogged filter explains the unusual data that engineers saw on launch day.
Benji Reed, director of crew mission management at SpaceX, said that although flight controllers lacked sufficient information during the countdown, assessments of the data revealed that it is likely that the rocket would have launched without incident despite the blocked filter.
At a news conference held after the launch on Thursday, Reed stated, “That’s not how we want to launch people. We want people to feel certain that it’s going to be okay.”
The mission marks the sixth long-term ISS team that NASA has flown aboard SpaceX.
Four years ago an uncrewed mission Demo-1 was launched by SpaceX’s first test flight to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (ANI)