SpaceX and NASA abort the launch of a manned spacecraft to the International Space Station ISS

No matter how difficult the relationship between the United States and Russia may be on Earth, the two superpowers continue to work together in space. However, the scheduled launch of a new hybrid crew to the International Space Station this morning was canceled due to technical problems.

The International Space Station welcomes four new residents. The SpaceX spacecraft was supposed to bring two Americans, a Russian and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to the laboratory on Monday. But the planned launch, this morning at 7:45 am Belgian time, did not take place. The launch was delayed due to technical issues.

SpaceX has reported problems with the TEA-TAB system used to ignite the main engines of the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket. According to the news site Spaceflight Now, this is the first time a crewed SpaceX flight has encountered this problem.

After a failed launch, all fuel is drained from the rocket. After that, the astronauts leave the spaceship. According to the space company, these are the expected actions.

The next possibility to re-launch the missile is 24 hours after the planned launch. But because the weather is unfavorable, it won’t. The next possibility is Thursday, March 2, according to NASA.

The launch will take place at the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral in Florida. More than a day after launch, the astronauts should arrive at the International Space Station, 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

Photo: EPA-EFE

There are now three residents from the United States, three from Russia and one Japanese on the International Space Station. Four of them should return to Earth next month. A replacement transport for the other three ships arrived on Sunday, a new ship with which they can return in September. The spaceship in which they were supposed to leave was destroyed by the impact of space debris. That vehicle will go to Earth next month without people on board.

SpaceX is going fast

For SpaceX, which was founded and led by Elon Musk, the launch is another exciting moment because it is a manned flight. But SpaceX isn’t ready for its test piece. Since May 2020, when it sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on a test flight, SpaceX has already launched several crewed flights.

This puts SpaceX ahead of its competitor Boeing. In 2014, NASA awarded Boeing and SpaceX contracts to build new ships. At the time, most space experts thought Boeing would be the first to fly it, he writes Washington Post. But the first manned Boeing test flight, probably in April this year, did not take place.

SpaceX has already made 61 launches in the past year, mainly of the Starlink satellite system. Next year, SpaceX aims to make more than 100 launches. The important launch is the launch of the Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built. Still awaiting approval.

Mixed crew

Despite the tension on Earth, the United States and Russia continue to work together in space. Two Americans and a Russian may depart for the International Space Station on Thursday. It concerns Americans Stephen Bowen (59), Warren Hoburgh (37) and Russian Andrei Vidgaev (42).

The fourth crew member is Sultan Al Neyadi (41) from the UAE. This country wants to portray itself as traveling through space. In 2019, another astronaut from the UAE went to the International Space Station for about a week. Since last year, a satellite from the country has been orbiting Mars, and later this year, an unmanned rover is supposed to reach the moon.

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Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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