The weather has already delayed the deployment of the next commercial crew trip to the (ISS) International Space Station, and now a “small medical concern” with one of the four astronauts has added to the delay. The launch had been set for just after 1 a.m. Eastern on November 3, but NASA stated on November 1 that it had been delayed to no sooner than November 6 at 11:36 p.m. Eastern. At Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A, both the Crew Dragon spaceship as well as its Falcon 9 spacecraft are in fine shape.
The delay is “due to a small medical concern involving one of the crew members,” according to a brief statement from the agency. The problem isn’t a medical emergency, and it has nothing to do with COVID-19.” The agency did not name the condition or the person who is affected. NASA is often prohibited from revealing the information due to medical confidentiality laws. When it postponed a spacewalk with Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei on the International Space Station in August, the agency used identical terminology. The spacewalk, which had been scheduled for August 24, had been cancelled a day earlier “because of a minor medical problem regarding Vande Hei.” This isn’t a life-threatening situation.”
Vande Hei said he suffered a pinched nerve in the neck the following day in twitter. He wrote, “Today just wasn’t the appropriate day.” ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet took the place of Vande Hei for the spacewalk. On social media, none of the 4 Crew-3 astronauts has mentioned the delay. Matthias Maurer, an ESA astronaut, posted a picture of himself on the beach with a garbage bag on November 1. In the tweet that accompanied the undated photo, he said, “During my quarantine, I’ve been relaxing by collecting trash on the beach.”
Moreover, to Maurer, the Crew-3 expedition will transport NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron to the International Space Station. All four have been quarantined since October 16, 14 days before the mission’s scheduled launch date. The launch was pushed back from October 30 to October 31 to give the mission more processing time, and then again on Nov. 3 due to bad weather at the downrange abort splashdown areas in the Atlantic Ocean. The delay in Crew-3’s launch will also delay the landing of the 4 Crew-2 astronauts who are already on the station. In a statement, NASA said it is still evaluating dates for the mission’s return to Earth on Crew Dragon spacecraft, which is presently docked there.