NASA and SpaceX announced the cancellation of the NASA Crew-6 launch mission, which included two US astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut, and a United Arab Emirates national, just minutes before takeoff from Florida on a flight to the International Space Station.
NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-6 mission was scheduled to lift off at 1:45 EST today, with the rocket’s upper and lower stages successfully loaded with fuel and oxidizer, and Crew Dragon loading its engines with propulsion a week earlier, but the mission control team encountered a rare problem about five minutes before the ignition today.
“Standing down from tonight’s launch of Crew-6 due to a TEA-TEB ground system issue. Both Crew-6 and the vehicles are healthy and propellant offload has begun ahead of the crew disembarking Dragon, SpaceX explained in a tweet.”
However, as per the launch plan, the mission was expected to take the crew about 25 hours to reach their destination at the International Space Station (ISS), a laboratory orbiting about 250 miles (420 km) above Earth.
What problem did NASA Crew-6 Launch Mission encounter
In a live broadcast after the cancellation, NASA explained that the problem was with the ground equipment used to load the propellant on the rocket, which is likely because the Falcon 9 has not had any problems related to TEA-TEB so far. Therefore, they hope to give more information on the mission’s postponement.
The crew of Crew 6 had started preparing for launch, but as the launch window closed in, mission control alerted them that they had run into a small issue. They then told the crew just over two minutes before the Falcon 9 lifted off. The NASA Crew-6 launch mission for today will have to be canceled, and another attempt will be made in roughly 24 hours, an insider explained.
The United States space agency, NASA, and Elon Musk’s privately owned SpaceX pointed to a technical issue with the flow of the ignition fluid that is used to help activate the spacecraft’s engines. With the NASA Crew-6 launch mission codenamed “Crew 6,” NASA will launch the sixth long-duration ISS crew on board SpaceX since Musk’s California-based business started launching Americans into orbit in May 2020.