In response to Hurricane Ian, NASA has changed the launch date of its Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station.

“The safety of the crew, ground teams, and hardware are the utmost importance to NASA and Space,” said NASA in a blog post.

The launch will now occur on Wednesday, Oct. 5, no sooner than 12 p.m. EDT. Oct. 7 is presently reserved as a backup date.

NASA is also investigating potential range opportunities on Oct. 6 and pending evaluation of the phasing timetable on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.

Hurricane Ian Delays NASA, SpaceX Crew-5 Mission

According to Space.com, Hurricane Ian caused a minimum additional day’s delay in the next SpaceX astronaut mission for NASA.

NASA officials on Wednesday night, Sept. 28, also mentioned in the blog post that the Crew-5 mission will now launch from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida no earlier than Oct. 5.

Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday, is to blame for the holdup. The storm is expected to move northeast on Thursday, Sept. 29 following a path that will pass by or past KSC.

The mission teams continue to monitor Ian’s impacts on Florida’s Space Coast and NASA’s KSC; and if necessary, they may opt to move the launch date once again.

On Sept. 28 at six o’clock, Kennedy Space Center declared the HURCON I mission as operational. According to NASA, the ride-out crew is presently taking refuge at the designated locations until the storm has passed.

More details on the planned schedule, including crew arrival from the agency’s Johnson Space Facility to Kennedy, will be provided in the following days, depending on the weather and the condition of the center.

Hurricane Ian Pushes Back NASA, SpaceX Crew-5 Astronaut Launch Again to Oct. 5; Artemis I Affected?

(Photo : SpaceX)
From left are crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission – Anna Kikina, mission specialist; Josh Cassada, pilot; Nicole Mann, spacecraft commander; and Koichi Wakata, mission specialist – shown inside the crew access arm at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.

Crew-5 has already experienced a delay due to Cyclone Ian. For example, NASA and SpaceX said on Tuesday that the hurricane had caused them to change the original launch date from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4.

NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann will serve as the mission commander and pilot, respectively, on the Crew-5 mission. The mission specialists will be Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Anna Kikina of Roscosmos.

Although SpaceX’s Crew-4 is still on board the International Space Station, it is soon anticipated that it will depart for Earth. The launch of Crew-5 determines the departure date for Crew-4.

Artemis I Launch Also Pushed Back

UPI also mentioned that NASA delayed the much-awaited launch of the Artemis I spacecraft on Monday and won’t try again until at least mid-October.

In preparation for Hurricane Ian, NASA claimed to have begun transferring the $4.1 billion rocket from the launch pad back to its storage hangar at Kennedy Space Center.

Early on Thursday, more than 2 million Floridians were still without power, and a 72-year-old man was discovered unconscious in a canal not far from his house.

With gusts exceeding 155 mph, the hurricane, which was reduced to a tropical storm on Thursday, made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon. As it traveled northeast through the state, it left a path of damage.

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