NASA and SpaceX are making final preparations for its first crewed launch since October 2022.
The Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:34 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 2 (9:34 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1).
The four crewmembers — NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev — were supposed to have started their rocket trip to the ISS early on Monday morning but a technical glitch with the ground systems forced the mission team to halt the countdown clock just a couple of minutes from launch.
With everything now sorted, the team is now poring over the weather forecast to confirm the conditions for the launch early on Thursday morning.
Looking at the current data, the probability of weather-related factors impacting the launch time is rated at just 5%, according to a report from the 45th Weather Squadron, which provides detailed assessments for air and space operations in the U.S.
This means that, barring another last-minute technical problem, the Crew-6 has an excellent chance of getting away on time.
However, should the mission be delayed by 24 hours, incoming strong winds push the probability of violating weather constraints to 30%, while a 48-hour delay sees that rise to 40%. With that in mind, the mission team will be keen to send the Crew-6 astronauts on their way early on Thursday.
NASA will live stream the first part of the mission on its YouTube channel, and also broadcast the docking and welcome ceremony at the space station about 24 hours after launch.
The new arrivals will spend about six months living and working aboard the orbital facility. To find out more about how they’ll spend their time, check out these videos created aboard the ISS by various astronauts who’ve visited over the last two decades.
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