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Take #3: Launch of SpaceX Crew-6 Set to Go After Midnight Tonight


Florida - Wednesday March 1, 2023: The launch of the SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is now set for after midnight tonight, no earlier than 12:34 a.m. EST Thursday, March 2.

This will be the third attempt after the original launch day last Sunday was delayed until Monday and now re-scheduled for tomorrow.

The original Sunday launch was put off until Monday because NASA said they were "a little bit behind" on getting the Falcon-9 launch vehicle and the Dragon capsule ready.

Then on Monday the launch attempt was delayed in order for technicians to "review an unusual data signature related to the ignition fluid," which is used to start the Falcon 9’s first stage engines. SpaceX removed propellant from the Falcon 9 rocket and the crew safely exited the Dragon spacecraft Sunday. 

During that review both NASA and SpaceX teams identified a clogged filter as the cause of the "unusual data signature." SpaceX teams replaced the filter, purged the fuel line with nitrogen, and verified the lines are clean and ready for the next launch attempt early Thursday morning. 

The Crew-6 launch will carry two NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Warren Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will serve as mission specialists for a space station science expedition. 

This is the sixth crew rotation mission using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting laboratory as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. This Dragon is named Endeavour. 

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon spacecraft will be from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

Live launch coverage will begin at 8:45 p.m., Wednesday, on NASA Television and the agency’s website at:  https://www.nasa.gov/live .