A problem with an engine ignition system forced NASA to scrub Monday’s launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The launch of the Crew-6 mission was scheduled for 1:45 a.m. Monday. An issue with the ignition system was detected with about 5:30 left before liftoff at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The launch was scrubbed with 2:12 left before liftoff. NASA cited in a news release an issue preventing data from confirming a full load of the ignition source for the Falcon 9 first stage Merlin engines, triethylaluminum triethylboron (TEA-TEB). The TEA-TEB ignites on contact with air and allows the main engines to throttle up and produce the thrust needed to launch the rocket.
The space agency said the next target date for liftoff is 12:34 a.m. Thursday. A window was open Tuesday, but NASA said an unfavorable weather forecast prompted a further delay.
“I’m proud of the NASA and SpaceX teams’ focus and dedication to keeping Crew-6 safe,” NASA Chief Bill Nelson said. “Human spaceflight is an inherently risky endeavor and, as always, we will fly when we are ready.”
The mission was to carry NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Russian Andrey Fedyaev and Sultan al-Neyadi, the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates assigned to a monthslong mission, to the space station. They were to replace four people who had been on the space station since October: NASA's Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Koichi Wakata of Japan and Russia's Anna Kikina, who will return to Earth aboard the Dragon capsule.
SpaceX said it has scheduled a Tuesday launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 51 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California.
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