Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 37° Clear
News >  Nation/World

SpaceX aims for third crew launch hour before Friday’s sunrise

UPDATED: Thu., April 22, 2021

In this Wednesday, April 21, 2021 photo provided by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard sits on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., at sunset. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide are scheduled for a Friday launch.  (Joel Kowsky)
In this Wednesday, April 21, 2021 photo provided by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard sits on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., at sunset. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide are scheduled for a Friday launch. (Joel Kowsky)
By Marcia Dunn Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX aimed to launch its third crew a little before sunrise Friday, this time using a recycled capsule and rocket.

The four astronauts, representing the U.S., Japan and France, were supposed to fly to the International Space Station on Thursday. But liftoff was delayed because of poor weather.

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule requires calm waves and winds in the case of an emergency splashdown is needed during the climb to orbit. Friday’s forecast should be much improved, officials said. Liftoff was set for 5:49 a.m. EDT.

“Our friends on the @Space–Station are expecting us to show up and we don’t want to be late,” tweeted French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. “They even installed my bedroom recently and literally made my bed. Such nice hosts!”

For the first time, Elon Musk’s company is launching astronauts with a previously flown capsule and rocket, just as it’s done for supply runs. This crew capsule launched with SpaceX’s first crew last May; the rocket hoisted the second crew in November.

NASA’s spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough and his crew will spend six months at the space station, replacing four astronauts who will return next Wednesday in their own SpaceX capsule, parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico near Tallahassee, Florida.

To celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, Kimbrough tweeted a sunrise beach shot from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

“Amazing way to appreciate our planet this morning!” he said.

Besides Kimbrough and Pesquet, the crew includes NASA’s Megan McArthur and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.