UPDATE: NASA had moved the targeted launch date from August 17 to August 21. But it’s now targeting Friday, August 25. This article has been updated to reflect the change.
NASA and SpaceX are now targeting Friday, August 25, for the launch of the Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The agency had been hoping to launch on August 17, but recent changes to the schedule of several other NASA missions departing from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida prompted planners to shift the date.
The mission, which is aiming to launch at 3:49 a.m. ET (00:49 a.m. PT), will use one of SpaceX’s trusty Falcon 9 rockets and a Crew Dragon capsule named Endurance that previously flew NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 and Crew-5 missions to the orbital outpost.
If weather issues or technical problems surface prior to launch, backup opportunities for the Crew-7 mission are available on Saturday and Sunday.
The four astronauts heading to the space station later this month are NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli from the U.S., the European Space Agency’s Andreas Mogensen from Denmark, Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Russian Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos.
The crew will reach the ISS the day after launch and then spend the next six months living and working aboard the orbital outpost about 250 miles above Earth.
SpaceX will live stream the key parts of the crew’s launch and arrival.
The Crew-7 launch is NASA’s first involving professional astronauts since the Crew-6 flight in February, though it also oversaw a launch of private citizens in May with the Ax-2 mission to the ISS.
The development of SpaceX’s reusable spaceflight system enabled NASA to restart crewed launches from U.S. soil in 2020 after having to rely on Russian rockets and spacecraft following the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011.
Nine of SpaceX’s 10 crewed missions have used a Crew Dragon to take astronauts to the space station, while one used a modified version with a glass dome to take four private citizens on a three-day orbit of Earth.
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