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SpaceX and NASA Target Halloween to Launch their Flight to Space Station

On a SpaceX rocket, NASA will launch four more astronauts to the International Space Station on Halloween. Crew-3 will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 2:21 a.m. EDT (0721 GMT) on Sunday, Oct. 31. The launch will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, using Launch Complex 39A.

Details on the NASA Television and SpaceX broadcasts will be announced at a later date. NASA astronauts Raja Chari (mission commander), Tom Marshburn (pilot), and Kayla Barron (mission specialist), as well as European Space Agency astronaut and mission specialist Matthias Maurer, will travel to the orbiting complex in a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

If the crew cannot reach space on the primary launch date, a backup launch time of 1:10 a.m. EDT (0610 GMT) on Wednesday, Nov. 3 will be used. All dates and times are subject to change due to weather, technical issues, and other considerations. The launch was initially slated for Oct. 31 until NASA and SpaceX changed it to Oct. 30 owing to station traffic from other spacecraft. It had been delayed from Oct. 23 due to station traffic from other spacecraft.

While the exact date of Crew-2’s return has yet to be determined, NASA predicts a splashdown in early November at one of seven landing zones off the coast of Florida. After that, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet will return to Earth. Even after Crew-2 departs, Expedition 66 will remain on the space station, with Expedition 67 launching no early than April 2022. Crew-4, SpaceX‘s next launch, is expected to take place in the same month.

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