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NASA switches SpaceX’s Crew-8 launch date again

Just a couple of days after NASA announced it was delaying the launch of SpaceX’s Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by a week, the agency has come back to say it’s pushing back the earliest possible launch date by another two days.

It means the Crew-8 mission will launch no earlier than Friday, March 1.

The adjustments to the schedule have been prompted by the timing of Intuitive Mission’s IM-1 lunar mission, which got underway on Wednesday from the same Cape Canaveral launch pad that Crew-8 will use.

“NASA and SpaceX teams have adjusted the launch date for the Crew8 mission to no earlier than Friday, March 1 at 12:04 am ET,” the agency said in a post on social media on Thursday. “The shift follows the successful launch on February 15 of the Intuitive Machines IM-1 spacecraft on a robotic mission to land on the moon from Launch Complex 39A.”

NASA and SpaceX teams have adjusted the launch date for the #Crew8 mission to NET Friday, March 1 at 12:04am ET.

The shift follows the successful launch on Feb. 15 of the Intuitive Machines IM-1 spacecraft on a robotic mission to land on the Moon from Launch Complex 39A. pic.twitter.com/WWW3TA1jKg

— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) February 15, 2024

The crew — NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, Michael Barratt, and Matthew Dominick, along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin — will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Barratt has been to space twice before, while the others will be heading there for the first time.

The launch is set to take place about six months after Crew-7 launched to the ISS and about six weeks after the last crewed flight to the orbital outpost in a private mission organized by Texas-based Axiom Space.

The Crew-8 astronauts are expected to spend six months living and working aboard the space station as it orbits about 250 miles above Earth.

SpaceX will live-stream the launch and early stages of the Crew-8 mission. Be sure to check back for full details on how to watch.

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