Thunderstorms along Florida’s Coast delayed SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-23) mission for NASA, set to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX hoped to launch a thrice-flown Falcon 9 rocket early Saturday at 3:37 a.m. EDT. The company was ready to launch the rocket to propel the cargo Dragon capsule to orbit, but the threat of lightning forced SpaceX to call off the launch attempt nine minutes before liftoff. “Standing down from today’s launch due to weather; next launch opportunity is Sunday, August 29 at 3:14 a.m. ET,” SpaceX announced after the scrub. NASA will Livestream the second launch attempt on Sunday at 2:45 a.m. EDT.
Standing down from today’s launch due to weather; next launch opportunity is Sunday, August 29 at 3:14 a.m. ET— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 28, 2021
The one-day-delay was due to thunderstorms connected to Hurricane Ida, which is currently a Category 2 Storm that has potential to strengthen to a Category 4 as it approaches the Gulf Coast. “Although it will not directly impact east-central Florida, [Hurricane Ida] will usher in plentiful mid- and upper-level moisture over the Florida peninsula," U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron forecasters said in a weather report. “For the backup window on Sunday morning, we remain in a similar pattern with continued onshore flow.”
If SpaceX launches CRS-23 Dragon to orbit this Sunday, the spacecraft will dock to the Space Station by Monday, August 30. Dragon will deliver dozens of science research/experiments, including supplies and hardware needed by the astronauts working at the orbiting laboratory. NASA TV will Livestream the docking operation starting at 9:30 a.m., the capsule will arrive at ISS until 11:00 a.m. EDT. You can watch the agency’s broadcast in the video linked below.
The Falcon 9’s first-stage booster (B1061-4) that will support the CRS-23 mission, previously launched a pair of crewed missions, Crew-1 and Crew-2, which launched astronauts to the Space Station; It also launched the Sirius SXM-8 satellite. SpaceX will attempt to recover the booster a fourth time by landing it on its new autonomous droneship called ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas,’ which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s coast. "The Dragon spacecraft supporting this mission previously supported SpaceX’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission," the company shared.
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Featured Image Source: NASA