Nasa, SpaceX postpone latest mission to International Space Station

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft is prepared for launch the Crew-7 mission from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on August 24, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. — AFP
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft is prepared for launch the Crew-7 mission from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on August 24, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. — AFP

Elon Musk's SpaceX announced on Thursday evening that their joint mission with the US space agency Nasa to send four astronauts from four different nations and space agencies to the International Space Station (ISS) was unexpectedly postponed, CNN reported.

Nasa's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida was announced as the launch site for the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying astronauts on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Friday at 3:50am ET.

The reason for the abrupt change, announced by SpaceX late on Thursday via X, formerly Twitter, is still unknown.

The space agency was moving the liftoff timing to Saturday, August 26 at 3:27am, according to SpaceX's post on X, because it "provides teams additional time to complete and discuss analysis."

The advertisement stated, "The vehicles are still in good condition, and the crew is prepared to fly.

According to SpaceX's post on X, the space agency was delaying the liftoff time to Saturday, August 26 at 3:27am because it "provides teams additional time to complete and discuss analysis".

"The vehicles remain healthy and the crew is ready to fly," the post read.

Nasa spokesperson Rob Navias, during a livestream, said: "Mission managers met and elected to postpone the launch of the Crew-7 crew for 24 hours to provide just a bit more time to close out some open paperwork."

There is a 95% likelihood that the weather will be cooperative for the Saturday liftoff, according to the most recent predictions from the US Space Force, which regulates rocket launches.

The four astronauts set to launch aboard this mission, dubbed Crew-7, include Nasa's Jasmin Moghbeli, who will be the mission commander; Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen, representing the European Space Agency; Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA; and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos.

Nasa and SpaceX are set to launch their eighth commercial crew mission to the ISS. The Crew-7 astronauts will join the seven already on the orbiting laboratory, taking over operations from the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts.

The mission will take place over five days, marking the eighth flight operated by the agency as part of the commercial crew program which has been in operation since SpaceX's first crewed mission in 2020.

The crew will spend about five days taking over operations from the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts.