Rocket engine abnormal SpaceX’s first commercial manned flight launch delayed.

Oct. 11 (NASA) confirmed Saturday that the first commercial manned mission of SpaceX’s Manned Dragon spacecraft has been postponed from its scheduled October 31 launch “no earlier than early November or mid-November.” During that time, SpaceX will examine and improve the Falcon 9 rocket engine, which recently experienced an anomaly while trying to launch a GPS navigation satellite.

On October 2, the Falcon 9 rocket attempted to launch a GPS satellite at Cape Canaveral, and two seconds before launch, the computer that controls the countdown aborted the launch because of engine problems. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and chief executive, said after the launch was suspended that the countdown had been halted because of “an unexpected increase in pressure from the turbine’s mechanical gas generator.” The turbine mechanical gas generator is a device on the main engine of the Merlin used on the Falcon 9 rocket to drive the engine’s turbine pump.

Rocket engine abnormal SpaceX's first commercial manned flight launch delayed.

Figure 1: Four astronauts on NASA’s first commercial manned mission aboard the SpaceX manned Dragon spacecraft are being trained.

Although the Falcon 9 rocket, which launches the next generation of GPS navigation satellites for the U.S. Space Force, was grounded, SpaceX successfully launched two other Falcon 9 rockets from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center launch pad on October 6, sending 60 Starlink Internet satellites into orbit.

NASA said in a statement Saturday that delaying SpaceX’s first commercial manned mission from October 31 will give SpaceX more time to “complete hardware tests and data reviews, while the company is evaluating the unusual behavior of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage engine gas generator during a recent non-NASA mission launch.” “

The manned Dragon spacecraft’s first commercial manned mission will use the same type of Falcon 9 rocket launched by GPS navigation and Starlink satellites. NASA says it has a “full understanding” of SpaceX’s launch and test data. SpaceX has developed a manned Dragon spacecraft and signed a multibly-dollar contract with NASA to help it transport astronauts between Earth and the International Space Station.

“We have a strong partnership with SpaceX,” said Kathy Lueders, deputy director of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Council. As SpaceX accelerates the pace of its mission, it does give us a deeper understanding of the business system and help us make informed decisions about the state of the mission. Our team is actively studying this finding, and we should get more details in the coming week. “

Rocket engine abnormal SpaceX's first commercial manned flight launch delayed.

Photo SpaceX’s manned spacecraft was secured to an uncharged trunk at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on October 2.

NASA’s Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, mission specialist Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will begin a roughly six-month expedition to the International Space Station aboard a manned Dragon spacecraft. The four astronauts will lift off from launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Hopkins and his astronauts will work on the space station along with NASA flight engineer Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kudi-Sverchkov. Among them, Rizkov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins are scheduled to launch next Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The first commercial manned mission was named Crew-1 after NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken completed a 64-day manned dragon mission. Hurley and Benken were sent to the space station on May 30, returned to Earth on August 4 and splashed in the Gulf of Mexico. It was the first time an American astronaut had entered space from the U.S. mainland since the shuttle was retired in 2011.