NASA Delays SpaceX Crew-3 Launch to the International Space Station

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour is pictured during its approach to the International Space Station on April 24, 2021. Credit: NASA

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 1:10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, November 3, for the agency’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station due to a large storm system meandering across the Ohio Valley and through northeastern United States this weekend, elevating winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight path for the October 31 launch attempt.

Weather conditions along the ascent corridor are expected to improve for a November 3 launch attempt, and the 45th Weather Squadron forecast predicts an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch site.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 Astronauts

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts participate in a countdown dress rehearsal at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 28, 2021, to prepare for the upcoming Crew-3 launch. The astronauts are at Launch Pad 39A with the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon behind them during the rehearsal. Credit: SpaceX

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled for a long-duration science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven-member crew.

Launch November 3 would have Crew-3 arriving at the space station later the same day about 11 p.m. Wednesday, November 3, for a short handover with the astronauts that flew to the station as part of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket With Crew Dragon Spacecraft Crew-3 Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen at sunset on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-3 mission, Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet are currently targeting return in early November. Crew-3 astronauts are set to return in late April 2022.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts will remain at crew quarters at Kennedy until their launch. They will spend time with their families and receive technical and weather briefings in the next few days.

The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11 p.m. Wednesday, November 3. Launch and docking coverage will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

NASA SpaceX Crew-3 Astronauts

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts participate in a countdown dress rehearsal at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 28, 2021, to prepare for the upcoming Crew-3 launch. From left are Matthias Maurer, with the European Space Agency, and NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, Crew-3 commander, and Kayla Barron. Credit: SpaceX

The Crew-3 flight will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month science mission, staying aboard until late April 2022.

The Crew-2 mission with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will now target their undocking from the space station for no earlier than Sunday, November 7, to return to Earth.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Tuesday, November 2

  • 8:45 p.m. – NASA Television launch coverage begins. NASA will have continuous coverage, including launch, docking, hatch open, and welcome ceremony.

Wednesday, November 3

  • 1:10 a.m. – Launch
  • NASA TV coverage continues through docking, arrival, and the welcome ceremony. In lieu of a postlaunch news conference, NASA leadership will provide comments during the broadcast.
  • 11 p.m. – Docking

Thursday, November 4

  • 12:35 a.m. – Hatch Opening
  • 1:10 a.m. – Welcoming Ceremony