ISS mission “Cosmic Kiss”: NASA postpones flight with Maurer again

Status: 01.11.2021 10:01 p.m.

At first the weather didn’t play along, now a crew member has fallen ill: NASA has postponed the start of the German astronaut Maurer and his team again. Instead of Wednesday, they are now supposed to set off into space on Saturday.

Actually, the German astronaut Matthias Maurer was supposed to leave Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida for the International Space Station ISS last Sunday. But due to the weather, the NASA space agency postponed the start to Wednesday. But this date has also been collected. The Falcon 9 rocket is now set to take off next Saturday at around 11:36 a.m. local time.

NASA said there were minor medical problems with a member of the astronaut team. However, it is not a medical emergency and there is no connection with Corona. It was not disclosed which crew member it was. The astronauts would continue to prepare for their mission called “Cosmic Kiss” in quarantine, NASA wrote in a statement. Scientists would monitor their health.

Life at an altitude of 400 kilometers

If everything goes well on Saturday, Maurer will be the fourth German to fly to the ISS and, since 2008, the first German astronaut to take off from US soil. He will then also be the first German to fly to the ISS on a Crew Dragon space shuttle from the US company SpaceX. There, the astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA) will carry out numerous experiments for about six months at an altitude of around 400 kilometers and will probably also complete an outdoor mission. The last time a German ESA astronaut was in space was Alexander Gerst in 2018.

NASA stopped the space shuttle flights in 2011 and with it the transport of astronauts. SpaceX has been flying to the ISS since last year – with Maurer on board for the fourth time. The missions have all run smoothly so far SWRSpace expert Uwe Gradwohl.

The Crew Dragon spaceship flies to the ISS fully automatically and docks independently – there is no need to steer on the way. “It is a very comfortable means of transport and offers a lot of space compared to the Russian Soyuz capsules, in which the astronauts always sit very cramped. Here they can even get out of the seat a little and float through the capsule.”

At the start of the ISS mission “Cosmic Kiss”: Interview with astronaut Matthias Maurer

Lennart Pyritz, DLF, 29.10.2021 · 06:47

With information from Ute Spangenberger, SWR

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