In a major development, NASA and SpaceX have decided to step down from the Falcon 9 launch of the CRS-25 cargo mission in to the International Space Station, that was supposed to lift on June 10 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. While, Space X commercial supply mission is to carry’a NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) and other scientific cargo, both agencies had met yesterday to discuss the identified issue.
According to reports, through this mission, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver new science investigations, supplies and equipment for the international crew, which also include a climate research investigation. Once in the space, EMIT will reasearch on the composition of mineral dust from Earth’s arid regions. It will also sudy the dust carried through the atmosphere from deserts and find out affects it has on the earth as part of NASA’s initiative to monitor climate change.
Importantly, while the propellant loading of the Dragon spacecraft was being done ahead of the launch, the team measured levated vapour readings of mono-methyl hydrazine (MMH) in the Draco thruster propulsion system. This hydrozine plays the role of a propellant in bipropellant rocket engines. Soon after notocing the elevated readings, the propellant and oxidiser were offloaded for further testing.
The joint team of NASA and Space X will soon annonce the new launch date after studying the elevated readings’ exact source and dinding the cause. In the meantime, flight Engineers Jessica Watkins (NASA) and Samantha Cristoforetti (European Space Agency), who are currently in the ISS, will get the speed with the Dragon cargo craft’s rendezvous and docking procedures. Both Watkins and Cristoforetti were trained trained on a computer on Monday to get them ready for their roles as they monitor Dragon’s arrival.