December 8, 2023

Maurer's flight to the International Space Station postponed to next Wednesday

Maurer’s flight to the International Space Station postponed to next Wednesday

On Sunday, German astronaut Matthias Maurer was supposed to become the 12th German in space with the start of operation of the International Space Station (ISS). Now the flight has been postponed – for the second time.

Cape Canaveral – Due to bad weather, NASA has decided to postpone the flight to the International Space Station (ISS) with German astronaut Matthias Maurer.

NASA announced Saturday morning that the mission is now scheduled for Wednesday, November 3. It was already planned that a German cosmonaut would fly into space with Maurer for the first time in three years. The 51-year-old Saarlander was supposed to start with his NASA colleagues Thomas Marshburn, Raja Shari and Kayla Barron, from Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida for the ISS.

Maurer himself has an idea of ​​what to do with the time he has earned. “Enjoy your sleep on Sunday and a few more days to get used to the change from CEST to CET,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday. All over the world and in Saarlander’s home, many people were looking forward to getting the job started.

The US space agency said the launch will be scheduled for 1.10 a.m. (ET) next Wednesday. This corresponds to 6:10 AM CET. The delay is said to be caused by storms and bad weather over the northeastern United States and the Atlantic Ocean this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Saarlanders are committed to celebrating Maurer’s space flight scheduled for Sunday. “The event will take place as planned, only without the Cape Canaveral broadcast,” a government spokesman said on Saturday in Saarbrücken. Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) and Director of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), Matthias Link, also announced themselves for an all-day celebration in Maurer’s hometown of Oberthal.

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Maurer was the 12th German in space – and the 4th German on the International Space Station. Together with Marshburn, Chari and Barron, the astronaut forms “Crew-3”. The four are flown in SpaceX’s “Crew Dragon” by Elon Musk. On the International Space Station, Maurer will conduct several experiments over a period of about six months at an altitude of about 400 kilometers and will also complete an external mission.

On Saturday night, favorable weather conditions were predicted to start. But this only applies to the actual place of the start on the east coast of the US state of Florida. NASA is concerned about weather conditions on the flight path. Conditions should improve by November 3, according to the US space agency.

The start date has already been pushed back by a day in order to have more time to prepare. dpa