April 23, 2024

Astronaut Maurer's start to the International Space Station postponed again

Astronaut Maurer’s start to the International Space Station postponed again

Astronaut Matthias Maurer

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, here at the end of 2020, awaits his debut for the International Space Station. Photo: Robert Markowitz / European Space Agency / NASA / dpa

(Photo: dpa)

51-year-old Saarlander should be on Monday at the earliest NASA said the 51-year-old should start Monday at the earliest (9:51 p.m. local time, 3:51 a.m. Tuesday CET) with three of her NASA colleagues from Cape Canaveral Spaceport in the US state of Florida. A final decision must be made in the coming days. The newspaper “Saarbrücker Zeitung” had previously reported about the new start-up plans.

Other concerns besides the weather

There are several things to consider when planning for NASA: On the other hand, weather conditions do not look good for a possible start on Saturday and Sunday (local time). NASA said it was not yet clear whether the weather would continue on Monday. In addition, a “minor medical issue” will continue to be observed with a crew member, due to which the start has already been postponed. And third, there is a crew on the International Space Station that is supposed to return to Earth soon. NASA said it remains to be determined whether the return of “Crew 2” or the start of “Crew 3” should take priority.

“These are dynamic, complex decisions that can change every day,” said Steve Stitch, NASA administrator. “November weather can be particularly challenging, so our goal is to move forward with the highest potential for mission safety and crew protection.”

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It was originally scheduled to start on October 30

The start has been postponed several times previously. The last time was scheduled for Sunday morning (4.36 AM CET). Once, adverse weather conditions were given as a reason to postpone space flight. During the latest postponement, one crew member was reported to have had a “minor medical problem”. The missile launch was originally scheduled for October 30.

For the first time in three years, a German astronaut is supposed to fly into space with Maurer. It is scheduled to take off with NASA colleagues Thomas Marshbourne, Raja Shari and Kayla Barron from Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida to the International Space Station. The four astronauts will be flown by “Crew Dragon” from Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX.

A call from NASA