SpaceX and NASA have set a new date for the already-delayed CRS-25 resupply mission that will send a robotic Dragon capsule to the International Space Station aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. NASA now says the robotic mission will launch no earlier than July 14.
Earlier this month, NASA and SpaceX announced they were standing down from the planned June 10 launch of the CRS-25 mission after detecting elevated readings of hydrazine, the propellant used by Dragon's Draco thrusters, while fueling the spacecraft. The mission was delayed — first to no earlier than June 28, then to no earlier than July 11 — so that the anomalous hydrazine vapor readings inside the Draco system could be troubleshot.
Now, in a blog post dated June 28, NASA wrote that the additional delay until at least July 14 "supports ongoing Dragon spacecraft inspections" and the "repair and replacement of any components that could have degraded by exposure" to hydrazine vapor. While diagnosing this hydrazine issue, SpaceX made the determination to also replace the main parachutes on the Dragon spacecraft so that a more detailed inspection of the previously installed chutes could be conducted.
The new launch date set for CRS-25 will allow the uncrewed Dragon spacecraft to reach the International Space Station at the earliest possible time following an upcoming period in which the sun will fully illuminate the station, causing power generation and thermal issues, NASA officials added in the update.
As its name suggests, CRS-25 will mark the 25th time that SpaceX has sent a robotic resupply craft to the International Space Station for NASA. It will be the third mission for this particular Dragon spacecraft, which also made resupply runs to the orbiting lab in December 2020 and August 2021.
CRS-25 will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.