This may not be good news for those who planned spending Halloween watching NASA and SpaceX launch the first Crew Dragon operational mission as NASA has announced it’s delaying the Crew-1 launch to November.
It may be early or mid-November to allow SpaceX extra time to conclude evaluating the off-nominal behavior of a Falcon 9 rocket during a private flight. SpaceX is looking into what happened with the first stage engine gas generators before taking off.
Now, it looks pretty possible that the November date will work as NASA associate administrator Kathy Lueders hinted that both the agency and SpaceX were actively working on the research and hoped to be a lot smarter about the engines within next week.
All other NASA flights that depend on the Falcon 9 are still on track, including a partnership with the ESA on a satellite ‘Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich’ launching November 10th and a resupply mission due for late November or the following month.
A lot is riding on Crew-1, as the Demo-2 flight made history as a return to American astronauts launching from their home soil, Crew-1 represents the first standard NASA mission using an occupied, privately made capsule. Although it’ll take some time before such flights will be considered normal, this is an important step on the right lane.