We'll have to wait two additional days for the launch of SpaceX's next astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.
That flight, called Crew-7, had been scheduled to lift off on Aug. 15 atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But the agency and SpaceX announced today (July 25) that they're now targeting Aug. 17.
"Because of the turnaround of the launch pad from that Falcon 9 Heavy configuration to the configuration we use for crew, we'll adjust the launch date to the 17th of August," Steve Stich, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, said during a news conference today.
Crew-7's liftoff will occur at 6:56 a.m. EDT (1056 GMT) on Aug. 17, Stich added. You can watch the launch live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX.
The mission will send four people — NASA's Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency, Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov — to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule named Endurance.
If all goes according to plan, Endurance will dock with the orbiting lab about 20 hours after launch, around 2:45 a.m. EDT (0645 GMT) on Aug. 18, Stich said today. That arrival will get the wheels turning on the departure of SpaceX's Crew-6 mission, which reached the ISS on March 3. Crew-6 is scheduled to return to Earth on Aug. 25, Stich added.
As its name suggests, Crew-7 will be the seventh operational astronaut mission that SpaceX flies to the orbiting lab for NASA. But it will be the company's 11th crewed flight overall; SpaceX also launched the Demo-2 test mission to the ISS in 2020; the private Inspiration4 flight to Earth orbit in September 2021; and the Ax-1 and Ax-2 missions to the station in April 2022 and May 2023, respectively.
Ax-1 and Ax-2 were organized by the Houston company Axiom Space, which plans to begin operating its own space station in low Earth orbit in the late 2020s.