NASA, SpaceX aim for Halloween launch for Crew-3 to the ISS – CNET

crew1dragonrelocation

Crew-1 Crew Dragon Resilience during an ISS port relocation. Crew-3 will travel on a fresh Crew Dragon.

NASA

Four astronauts might get quite the treat on Halloween this year. On Monday, NASA announced a new target launch date of Oct. 31 for SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station. It nudges the launch back just a little from the previous date of Oct. 23.

Crew-3 will follow on the success of SpaceX’s previous flights as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer are set to spend six months on the ISS. They will be flying on a new Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Crew-3 will take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope had been aiming for a Halloween launch, too, but from South America. The much-delayed telescope could possibly see its launch date get nudged back again.

Space flight dates can easily slip for reasons ranging from technical delays to weather. In 2020, NASA and SpaceX had planned to launch the Crew-1 mission on Halloween, but it ended up taking off on Nov. 15.  

Halloween might seem like a spooky time to launch into the darkness of space, but the astronauts will take it in stride. The ISS crew is known for celebrating the trick-or-treating day up in orbit while cosplaying as Elvis and Darth Vader. And as far as group costumes go, Crew-3 will all be wearing matching astronaut suits.    

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.      

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