SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronaut mission will be able to spend a few extra hours aboard the International Space Station (ISS), if all goes according to plan.
Crew-3 Continue The capsule had been scheduled to depart the ISS on Wednesday night (May 4) and return to Earth the next day. But things have been pushed back a bit, NASA officials announced today (May 3).
“The @NASA and @SpaceX teams are now targeting #Crew3 undocking at 1:05am Thursday May 5th from @Space_Station. Splashdown off the coast of Florida is planned around 12:37am.” on Friday, May 6. The new undocking time allows for shorter phases and more time to review the latest forecast information,” Kathy Lueders, NASA’s chief of human spaceflight said via Twitter today. (The times she referred to are EDT.)
“The weather is being closely watched to confirm that the selected primary and alternate sites are good for return, and we will conduct another weather check approximately 24 hours before undocking to determine if we will proceed. More to come.” another tweet.
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Crew-3 launched on top of a spacex Falcon 9 rocket on November 11 and reached the International Space Station that same day, delivering NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and Thomas Marshburn and Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency (ESA) to the orbiting laboratory.
Marshburn commands the current Expedition 67 mission from the orbiting laboratory, but is preparing to hand over the reins to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. That will officially happen during a change of command ceremony on Wednesday (May 4) at 2:35 pm EDT (1835 GMT), which you can watch here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
There are currently two SpaceX missions on the ISS; Crew-4 arrived on April 27. Like their Crew-3 counterparts, the Crew-4 astronauts – NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins and ESA’s Samantha Cristoforetti – will spend about six months aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The ISS has been a hub of Dragon activity lately. the private Ax-1 The mission, which SpaceX flew for the Houston company Axiom Space, brought four private astronauts to the orbiting laboratory on April 9 for a 15-day stay.
Mike Wall is the author of “out there(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @migueldwall. Follow us on twitter @Spacepointcom or in Facebook.