NASA delays first Crew Dragon operational mission to November
We hope you didn't intend to spend Halloween watching NASA and SpaceX launch Crew Dragon's first operational mission. NASA has postponed the Crew-1 launch to at least early to mid-November as SpaceX requested additional time to complete the assessment of the “non-nominal behavior” of a Falcon 9 rocket during a private flight. SpaceX wanted to know what happened to the first stage engine inflators before moving any further.
NASA Associate Administrator Kathy Lueders said both the agency and SpaceX were "actively working on this finding" and hoped to be "a lot smarter" about the engines over the next week.
Other NASA flights that depend on the Falcon 9 are still on track, including a partnership with ESA on a satellite (Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich) launching November 10 and a replenishment mission in late November or early December it's planned.
A lot rides on Crew-1. While the Demo-2 flight made history as a return to American astronauts taking off from their home soil, Crew-1 represents the first standard NASA mission with a manned, privately manufactured capsule. It will be a while before such flights are considered normal, but this is a crucial step in that direction.
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