International Space Station A new crew has to take

International Space Station | Flight from Florida to ISS postponed by 24 hours

The launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which was supposed to transport three American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut from Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) on the night of Saturday to Sunday, was postponed by one day due to weather, the operator said.

Posted at 12:41 p.m.


Originally scheduled for 11:16 p.m. local time on Saturday (11:16 p.m.). [heure de l’Est] Sunday) at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the launch had to be postponed to 10:53 p.m. local time on Sunday (10:53 p.m.). [heure de l’Est] Monday) due to “strong winds,” SpaceX said.

This flight, organized as part of the usual ISS crew rotation, was originally scheduled for February 22nd and was therefore postponed for the first time.

The Dragon capsule attached to the tip of the rocket, which is intended to carry the crew, has already been used on four manned missions.

This time the four passengers are members of Crew-8, the eighth regular rotation mission that SpaceX has carried out for NASA since 2020.

“To the untrained eye, it seems almost routine that SpaceX sends them there one by one,” NASA chief Bill Nelson admitted at a press conference this week.

American Michael Barratt is the only Crew 8 astronaut to have visited the International Space Station (ISS). This will be his third stay on board.

However, it will be the first space flight for the other two Americans, Matthew Dominick and Jeanette Epps, as well as the Russian cosmonaut Alexandre Grebionkin.

NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, which jointly operate the ISS, have launched an astronaut exchange program in which each takes turns bringing a crew member from the other country.

This program was maintained despite the war in Ukraine and the ISS is now one of the very few cooperation partners between Washington and Moscow.

The Crew-8 members will join the seven people already on the ISS.

After a handover period of a few days with the four members of Crew-7 – an American, a Dane, a Japanese and a Russian – they return to Earth aboard their own Dragon capsule.

More than 200 scientific experiments must be carried out during the six months that Crew-8 spends in the flying laboratory, which has been permanently inhabited for 23 years.

While the first years of the station's life were devoted to construction, astronauts can now devote more time to science.

But the station's age also has a downside: NASA and Roscomos are monitoring a “leak” whose flow has increased recently, Joel Montalbano, head of the ISS program at NASA, said this week.

Located at the end of a Russian module, the Russian Progress spacecraft docks with the ISS. A hatch is currently permanently closed to isolate the leak from the rest of the station.