SpaceX, NASA delay launch of Crew-7 astronauts to International Space Station

SpaceX, NASA delay launch of Crew-7 astronauts to International Space Station
A white spacex crew dragon rests atop a falcon 9 rocket. the top is visible through blurry leaves in the foreground. the launch tower's crew access arm reaches to the far side of the spacecraft.



Crew Dragon Endurance at Launch Complex-39A, ahead of the planned Crew-7 astronaut launch.
(Image credit: Space.com/ Josh Dinner)

SpaceX’s next astronaut launch has been pushed back by at least 24 hours.

The company was counting down to launch the four-person Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA in the early hours of Friday (Aug. 25) from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. But now, that’s not going to happen.

“NASA and SpaceX are standing down from the Friday, Aug. 25, launch opportunity for the agency’s Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station,” NASA officials said in an emailed statement Thursday night (Aug. 24). “Launch now is targeted at 3:27 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, for SpaceX’s seventh crew rotation mission to the microgravity laboratory for NASA. More to come.”

“The new launch date provides teams additional time to complete and discuss analysis. The vehicles remain healthy and crew is ready to fly,” SpaceX added via X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday night, without specifying which issue(s) required further analysis.

Related: SpaceX Crew-7 astronaut plans to snap aurora photos on the ISS

Crew-7 will send four astronauts representing four different space agencies to the ISS for a roughly six-month stay. They’ll get there aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endurance, which already has two trips to the orbiting lab under its belt.

The crewmembers are NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, Endurance’s commander; the European Space Agency‘s Andreas Mogensen, from Denmark, who will serve as pilot; and Satoshi Furukawa and Konstantin Borisov, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, respectively. Furukawa and Borisov will be mission specialists on Crew-7.

As its name suggests, Crew-7 will be SpaceX’s seventh operational mission to the space station for NASA. But it will be the 11th human spaceflight overall for Elon Musk’s company.

One of those previous missions is still at the ISS. Crew-6 reached the orbiting lab in early March and is scheduled to depart about five days after Crew-7’s arrival.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:45 p.m. EDT on Aug. 24 to include SpaceX’s post on X.

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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, “Out There,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

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