WASHINGTON D.C., Oct 11, 2020, Kyodo. NASA said Saturday that it will delay the Oct. 31 liftoff of a spacecraft developed by U.S. company SpaceX, which will carry Japan’s Soichi Noguchi and three other astronauts, citing the need for additional checkups on the rocket, Kyodo News reported.
The launch of the so-called SpaceX Crew-1 mission is “now targeted for no sooner than early-to-mid November,” the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a news release.
NASA said it is currently evaluating a malfunction in the first stage engine gas generators of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that was observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt.
A Falcon 9 rocket will also be used for the Crew-1 mission featuring Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and three NASA astronauts, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker. They will stay on the ISS for approximately six months.
The launch delay will provide “additional time for SpaceX to complete hardware testing and data reviews,” NASA said.
Following the announcement, Noguchi tweeted, “We, crew members, will continue training, thinking that it is necessary preparation to ensure the safety of the rocket.”