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Hurricane Ian Delays Launch of First Russian Cosmonaut in a SpaceX Crew Dragon

Without a doubt, the biggest event in space exploration this year should have been the launch of the Artemis I mission and the start of the new Moon exploration program. Several technical problems, and now a natural phenomenon, stopped that from happening and pushed the launch into very crowded territory.
Crew-5 mission to take off on October 4 6 photos
Crew-5 mission to take off on October 4Crew-5 mission to take off on October 4Crew-5 mission to take off on October 4Crew-5 mission to take off on October 4Crew-5 mission to take off on October 4
The last time NASA attempted to set a launch date for Artemis I was earlier this month, when it said September 27 is the target date, with October 2 kept as backup. In the meantime, hurricane Ian happened, so the launch did not take place this week as intended. Furthermore, the first days of October are reserved for the launch of the Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station (ISS), so chances of seeing the SLS depart this year are getting slimmer by the day.

Crew-5, taking to the sky on board the Crew Dragon spaceship called Endurance, was supposed to launch on October 3, but it too got pushed back, only by a day, also on account of Ian being expected to make a mess over in Florida. October 5 is considered a backup date for the mission.

Crew-5 is the fifth trip to the ISS using a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The crew comprises NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.

Most importantly, this flight will also have on board Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina. It will be the first time a SpaceX capsule transports a specialist working for America’s biggest adversary, an occurrence which comes just a few days after an American astronaut flew on a Soyuz spaceship again, for the first time since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine.

Crew Endurance, which is already paired to the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch it, has been used before, being responsible for taking to space the astronauts of the Crew-3 mission.

press release

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