Minor Medical Issue Delays NASA SpaceX Crew-3 Astronaut Launch to ISS

Minor Medical Issue Delays NASA SpaceX Crew-3 Astronaut Launch to ISS
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket integrated with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is raised erect at Launch Complex 39A ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission. Launch targeting no earlier than Nov. 6, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  A ‘minor medical issue’ affecting one of the four multinational crew members has forced NASA to again postpone the launch of the SpaceX Crew-3 astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) – in this case to no earlier than (NET) Saturday, Nov. 6, the agency announced late today.

Liftoff had already been reset to the wee hours of Wednesday early morning, Nov. 3 – skipping the hoped for Halloween treat liftoff Sunday, Oct. 31 -due to poor downrange weather invading the northern Atlantic Ocean with a  “large storm system elevating winds and waves” along the trajectory where the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule would fly and have to abort in case of a launch emergency problem with the rocket.

NASA said the medical issue was not an emergency and not related to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The agency also did not identify which of the four astronaut crew members  from America and Germany was involved.

“NASA is delaying the upcoming launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission due to a minor medical issue involving one of its crew members,” NASA officials said in a Nov. 1 blog post .

“The issue is not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19. The launch to the International Space Station was planned for Wednesday, Nov. 3.”

A firm new launch date has not been set – pending a resolution of the ‘minor medical issue’ with one of the crew members.

The earlier opportunity for the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 launch is 11:36 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Nov. 6 (0336 GMT on Nov. 7) on a recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon astronaut ferry ship to the orbiting research laboratory.

“Teams will continue to monitor crew health as they evaluate potential launch opportunities at the end of the week. The earliest possible opportunity for launch is 11:36 p.m. EDT Saturday, Nov. 6.”

Liftoff of multinational German and American astronauts flying on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission has been delayed by minor medical issues and poor offshore weather to Nov. 6, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The quartet participated in a media event after arriving at KSC on Oct. 26, 2021. From left is ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Mission Specialist Matthias Maurer of Germany, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, pilot, Spacecraft Commander Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Halloween liftoff set for Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The multinational Crew-3 team comprising NASA astronauts Raja ChariTom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, along with ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer from Germany, landed at the Launch and Landing Facility (formerly the SLF Shuttle Landing Facility on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 26 aboard a NASA Gulfstream jet at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center after departing from their Texas training base via Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

They will launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft and its recycled Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

 

Portraits of NASA SpaceX Crew-3 quartet displayed on world famous Countdown Clock at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A Press Site in Florida. Multinational astronauts (from left): Raja Chari, Kayla Barron and Thomas Marshburn (NASA) and Matthias Maurer (ESA/Germany). SpaceX Falcon 9 in background right. Liftoff reset for NET Nov. 6, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at KSC. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

NASA reported “the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are in good shape and will remain at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy.”

The Crew-3 astronauts will become the third crew to fly a full-duration six-month long science mission to the orbiting laboratory on a SpaceX Crew Dragon – and the 5th human spaceflight overall on a SpaceX Crew Dragon.

Cosmic Kiss is theme name for flight of German astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA who will become the 600th person to reach space during the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission. Patch held high between VAB and US and Crew-3 flags flying on flag pole beside world famous Countdown Clock displaying portraits of Crew-3 astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A Press Site in Florida. Launch targeting no earlier than Nov. 6, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The Crew-3 astronauts will become the third crew to fly a full-duration six-month long science mission to the orbiting laboratory on a SpaceX Crew Dragon – and the 5th human spaceflight overall on a SpaceX Crew Dragon.

With the continuing launch delays NASA is evaluating whether a direct on orbit handover from the Crew-2  astronauts already on board to the Crew-3 astronauts is still possible.

Crew-2 may have to depart before Crew-3 arrives.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon from Crew-2 is nearing the end of its certified time in orbit.

“NASA also will continue to evaluate dates for a return to Earth for NASA’s SpaceX 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.”

“Mission teams are reviewing options including both direct and indirect handovers for the upcoming crew rotation at the microgravity laboratory. Teams will review all options for safely launching and returning crew members and continue the agency’s important work on the International Space Station.”

NASA SpaceX Crew-3 multinational astronauts (from left) Thomas Marshburn. Raja Chari and Kayla Barron (NASA) and Matthias Maurer (ESA/Germany) pose at media event following their arrival at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on Oct. 26, 2021. Liftoff set for Nov. 6, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at KSC. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Chari, Maurer, and Barron will all be flying as rookies on their first spaceflight each and are designated as astronauts 599, 600 and 601.

Matthias Maurer from Germany will enjoy the distinction of being the 600th human to reach space when he launches on Halloween with the Crew-3 quartet.

German astronaut Matthias Maurer of ESA will become the 600th person to reach space during the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission – with the theme name Cosmic Kiss. Maurer meets the media along with his NASA crew mates during the Oct. 26, 2021 astronaut arrival event at KSC ahead of liftoff Nov. 6. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Chari will be the 599th and Barron will be the 601st person to reach space since 1961 when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human into space reaching orbit at the dawn of the Space Age.

Maurer’s mission is named Cosmic Kiss. The mission’s name “is a declaration of love for space, for the Space Station as a link between humanity and the cosmos and for what people there do and will do in the future. At the same time, it stands for the value of exploring space in partnership, and for the respectful and sustainable treatment of Earth.”

The 51-year old Maurer, born in the German state of Saarland in Sanky Wendel, will conduct over 100 experiments – including 36 with involvement from German researchers in a range of diverse fields including biology life sciences, materials science, physics, biology, medicine and Earth observation.

Ken’s photos of the static fire test were featured on WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News

CBS 6 Orlando WKMG features static fire test photos for NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission taken at 1 a.m. Oct. 28, 2021, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission launch targeting Nov. 6, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Ken is onsite at KSC for the Crew-3 mission launch campaign

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, SpaceX  Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard roared to life at Launch Complex 39A during a brief static fire engine test at 1 a.m. Oct. 28, 2021, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission launch targeting Nov. 6, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

SpaceX Crew-3 patch

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Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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