SpaceX’s mission to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station was called off at the last minute

(CNN) SpaceX and NASA have halted the launch of an astronaut to the International Space Station after a problem was detected with the rocket’s ground system.

With about two minutes left on the countdown clock, the launch was aborted by a problem with the TEA-TEB ignition fluid used to ignite SpaceX’s Falcon 9’s rocket engines during liftoff. The next opportunity to attempt the release is Tuesday, February 28 at 1:22 PM ET.

The mission is expected to send two NASA astronauts, one Russian astronaut and one astronaut from the United Arab Emirates.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule were scheduled to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1:45 a.m. Monday. But with two and a half minutes left, the clock was stopped by engineers monitoring the ground systems.

The mission is expected to mark SpaceX’s seventh astronaut flight on behalf of NASA since 2020.

The Crew-6 team is about to start capsule NASA astronauts include Stephen Bowen, a veteran of three space shuttle missions, and first-time pilot Warren Hoburg, as well as Sultan Alnyadi, the second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to go into space, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedayev.

Once Bowen, Hoburg, Fedyaev and Alneyadi board the ISS, they will take over operations from SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts. It arrived at the space station in October 2022.

They are expected to spend up to six months in the orbiting lab, conducting science experiments and maintaining the two-decade-old station.

The mission comes as astronauts currently aboard the ISS face a unique transportation problem.

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In December, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft used to transport two astronauts and a NASA astronaut to the space station developed a coolant leak. After the capsule was deemed unsafe for returning astronauts, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, It launched a replacement vehicle on February 23. It’s the ISS on Saturday.

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