Last-minute technical issues grounded a SpaceX flight Monday, forcing a postponement of its mission to the International Space Station.
The countdown at Kennedy Space Center was called off with just two minutes left on the timer, according to the New York Post. A back-up opportunity for lift-off was scheduled for Feb. 28, but authorities expect bad weather to delay the mission until at least March 2, according to a blog post shared by NASA.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 24, 2023
NASA and SpaceX made the decision to cancel the launch due to a ground systems issue. Crew-6, made up of two NASA astronauts, a Russian and one from the United Arab Emirates, had to wait inside of the Falcon rocket until all its fuel was drained before exiting themselves, according to the outlet. It can take up to an hour to drain the fluid, the Post noted.
The purpose of the mission to ferry the four crew members to the International Space Station to replace astronauts who have been at the ISS since Oct. 2022, the outlet continued. (RELATED: Elon Musk Says SpaceX Withdrew Funding Request After Reports Surfaced That Pentagon May Consider Paying For Starlink)
“I’m proud of the NASA and SpaceX teams’ focus on dedication to keeping Crew-6 safe,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in the blog post. “Human spaceflight is an inherently risky endeavor and, as always, we will fly when we are ready.”