SpaceX launches Crew-3 mission to International Space Station

4 astronauts have been grounded due to weather, medical delays

Earth as seen from space. (Image: NASA) (NASA 2021)

SpaceX and Nasa are set to launch four astronauts of the Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station just after 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Update: SpaceX crew launch marks 600 space travelers in 60 years

SpaceX aims for night crew launch; ailing astronaut now OK

SpaceX counted down Wednesday toward a nighttime launch of four astronauts who have been grounded for nearly two weeks by weather and medical delays.

The Falcon rocket was poised to blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center a few hours after sunset. That would put the one German and three U.S. astronauts at the International Space Station by Thursday night to begin a six-month stay.

It was so drizzly that SpaceX employees held umbrellas over the astronauts as they said goodbye to their families. Their wet helmets were wiped down before they strapped into their seats. Forecasters promised the weather would improve.

One of the astronauts — NASA isn’t saying which one — was sidelined last week by an undisclosed medical issue. The crew member is fully recovered, according to NASA. Officials won’t say whether it was an illness or injury, but noted it wasn’t COVID-19.

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