February 2, 2023

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NASA postpones launch of ISS: Maurer must be patient

Status: 07.11.2021 3:40 pm

German astronaut Maurer must wait for his spaceflight: start for ISS postponed again. NASA wants to bring another team back to Earth first.

German astronaut Matthias Maurer must be patient. In fact, he should have become the twelfth German in space by the last weekend of October. He may now depart for the International Space Station ISS early Thursday morning (Wednesday local time). First, the US space agency NASA announced that a team of four astronauts would be brought to Earth from ISS.

But they had a delay: space agency SpaceX postponed its scheduled departure from the ISS for a day on Sunday due to strong winds off the coast of Florida. Four astronauts from the United States, France and Japan are due to leave the ISS on Monday afternoon and land with the capsule in the Gulf of Mexico in the evening.

SpaceX plans to launch Maurer and his three NASA colleagues on Thursday at 3:03 a.m. German time (Wednesday night at 9:03 local time). This will allow the CET to arrive at the ISS on Friday at 1:10 p.m.

For the first time in three years, a German astronaut is about to fly into space with Marr. Together with NASA colleagues Thomas Marshburn, Raja Sari and Kyla Barron, he is on his way to the ISS space station from the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida. The four astronauts are to be flown by Elon Musk’s private space agency, SpaceX, via “Crew Dragon”.

For the 51-year-old mason, this is his first space trip. With this aircraft he will become the twelfth German in space, the fourth in the ISS, and the first to fly there with the “Crew Dragon”.

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At the ISS, the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut will perform several tests at an altitude of about 400 km for about six months and complete the outer spacecraft. The last German ESA astronaut was Alexander Kerst in space in 2018.

The start of the 51-year-old Charland, scheduled for the last weekend in October, has already been postponed several times – due to bad weather and a team member’s “minor medical problem”. NASA recently announced that the medical problem will continue to be monitored. It is expected to be OK again before the planned start. No further details have been released. Most recently, Monday has been mentioned as a possible start date. To date, however, there have been concerns about the weather. The main concerns are strong winds in the Cape Canaveral and bad weather in the next course of the flight.

Marar and his fellow astronauts are to be flown to the ISS by the private space agency SpaceX’s “Crew Dragon”.

Image: dpa

Return to “Crew 2” priority

NASA, now known as “Crew-2”, has made it a priority to return. “Crew 2” features French Thomas Baskett, Japanese Akihiko Hosheit and Americans Shane Kimbo and Megan McArthur. The four astronauts have spent more than six months in space and will now, unusually, return before their replacement arrives.

The “Crew-2” now – with about 250 kilograms of scientific experiments on their luggage – will have to be removed from the ISS early Sunday morning and then fly once around the space station to take photos for upcoming repairs and return to sea. From Florida on Monday.

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There was no toilet on the return flight

French astronaut Pesket told a news conference that he was not nervous before the return flight. He spoke of a “bitter feeling” considering his imminent return to Earth. “We will never come back to see the ISS, it’s really a magical place,” the Frenchman said.

However, “Crew-2” has a “Crew Dragon” problem with ISS: the toilet is broken. So each of the four astronauts had to fly to Earth wearing one type of diaper. Astronaut McArthur said it was definitely “peak”. “But there are a lot of small challenges in space travel and we are ready to tackle them.”

It was actually planned to be handed over from team to team

A handover was actually planned between “Crew-2” and “Crew-3” on the ISS ship. NASA astronaut Kimbro told a news conference from space on Friday that it was now failing. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hay, who arrived at the ISS in April with astronauts Oleg Nowizki and Pyotr Dubrow, will carry out the mission.