SpaceX 'go' to launch Crew-6 astronauts for NASA on March 2 after rocket review

SpaceX's next astronaut mission is back on track for launch.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is now officially set to launch the Crew-6 mission Thursday (March 2) at 12:34 a.m. EST (0534 GMT) and you can watch the liftoff at, courtesy of NASA Television. 

A launch attempt Monday (Feb. 27) to the International Space Station (ISS) had been called off 2.5 minutes before T-0 due to a ground-system issue. 

"NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 mission is 'Go' for launch to the International Space Station following completion of a launch readiness review, weather briefing, and mission management meeting," agency officials wrote in a blog post Wednesday (March 1).

"Weather officials with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions," the agency added of the forecast at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in coastal Florida, where the mission will lift off for a one-day journey to the orbital outpost.

Related: Live updates about SpaceX's Crew-6 mission for NASA
More: Meet the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts

Crew-6, the sixth operational mission SpaceX will fly for NASA, will send NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Sultan Al-Neyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev to the ISS aboard the Dragon capsule Endeavour. (Al-Neyadi will be the first person from the UAE to spend a long-duration mission on the space station.)

The mission was delayed Monday due to a ground issue with ignition fluid, called triethylaluminum triethylboron or TEA-TEB, that sparks the oxidizer for the engines to ignite.

"During prelaunch, the TEA-TEB fluid⁠—which originates in a ground supply tank⁠— flows to the rocket's interface and back to a catch tank to remove gas from the ground plumbing," NASA officials wrote. 

"During engine start, the fluid then flows to the engines for ignition. Flow into the catch tank is one of several parameters used to determine that the fluid has been properly bled into the system."

The ground issue cause delaying Monday's launch has been traced to a clogged ground filter reducing the flow to a TEA-TEB catch tank, NASA officials added.

"This clogged filter fully explained the signature observed on the launch attempt. SpaceX teams replaced the filter, purged the TEA-TEB line with nitrogen, and verified the lines are clean and ready for launch."

Following launch, assuming all goes on time, Crew-6 and its four astronauts are scheduled to dock with the Harmony module at the ISS at 1:17 a.m. EST (0617 GMT) on Friday (March 3). Hatch opening is expected at 3:27 a.m. EST and the welcome ceremony at 3:40 a.m. EST. will carry these events, courtesy of NASA.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: