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SpaceX Scrubs Crew Dragon Launch as Soyuz Rescue Ship Arrives

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 27, 2023
Filed under , , , , ,
SpaceX Scrubs Crew Dragon Launch as Soyuz Rescue Ship Arrives
The four crew members that comprise the SpaceX Crew-6 mission pose for a photo during a training session on the crew access arm at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A in Florida. From left are, Mission Specialist Andrey Fedyaev, Pilot Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Mission Specialist Sultan Alneyadi, and Commander Stephen Bowen. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX scrubbed the launch of a fresh crew to the International Space Station (ISS) early Monday morning with 2 minutes 30 second left in the countdown. The scrub came 24 hours after an empty Russian Soyuz spacecraft arrived at the station to replace one that suffered damage in December.

A Falcon 9 rocket suffered a problem with the TEA-TEB fluid that ignites the oxidizer used to power the two-stage booster. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev were on board the Crew Dragon. The next launch window is early Tuesday morning.

The six-month mission will be the first long-term stay in space by an UAE astronaut. Hazza Al Mansouri became the first Emirate astronaut when he flew to ISS on Russia’s Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft in September 2019 on a mission that lasted almost eight days.

It will also the first spaceflight for Hoburg and Fedyaev, who turned 42 on Sunday. Bowen flew to ISS three times on shuttle missions. He has spent 40 days in space and 47 hours on spacewalks.

Week in Launches
Feb. 19-27

DateLauncher – OrganizationPayload – OrganizationPurposeLaunch Site
Feb. 23Long March 3B/E – CASCChinaSat-26 – China SatcomCommunicationsXichang
Feb. 24Soyuz-2.1a – RoscosmosSoyuz MS-23 – RoscosmosISS return vehicleBaikonur
Feb. 24Long March 2C – CASCHorus-1 – Egyptian Space AgencyRemote sensingJiuquan

The scrub came 24 hours after Russia’s Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft arrived at the station. The spacecraft was launched without a crew to replace the damaged Soyuz MS-22 vehicle currently docked at ISS. Soyuz-22 suffered a leak in its coolant system in December that Russian officials said was due to a micrometeoroid strike.

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and American astronaut Frank Rubio will use Soyuz MS-23 to return to Earth in September after a one-year mission. They were originally set to return in March aboard Soyuz MS-22 after 188 days in space.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio (left), Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev (center) and Roscosmos cosmonaut Dmitri Petelin (right) complete training preparations in front of their Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft as they prepare for launch Sept. 21 for a six-month mission on the International Space Station. The Soyuz spacecraft bears the name of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the “father” of cosmonautics. (Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov)

The original Soyuz MS-23 crew of Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub and U.S. astronaut Loral O’Hara have been bumped to the Soyuz MS-23 mission.

China launched a communications satellite for China Satcom and a remote sensing satellite for the Egyptian Space Agency last week.

Upcoming Launches

SpaceX has two other launches scheduled for today. A Falcon 9 will launch 21 Starlink upgraded version 2 satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. A second Starlink launch will be conducted from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Upcoming Launches

DateLauncher – OrganizationPayload – OrganizationPurposeLaunch Site
Feb. 27Falcon 9 – SpaceX21 Starlink — SpaceXCommunicationsCape Canaveral
Feb. 27Falcon 9 – SpaceX51 Starlink – SpaceXCommunicationsVandenberg
March 2Falcon 9 – SpaceXCrew Dragon – SpaceXISS CrewKennedy
March 8Terran 1 – Relativity SpaceNoneFlight testCape Canaveral
March 9Falcon 9 – SpaceX40 OneWeb – OneWebCommunicationsCape Canaveral

SpaceX is also scheduled to conduct its third launch of 40 OneWeb satellites from Cape Canaveral on March 9.

Relativity Space has set March 8 as the launch date for the maiden launch of the first fully 3D-printed rocket. Terran 1 will lift off from Launch Complex 16 at Cape Canaveral. The launch window opens at 1 p.m. EST (18:00 UTC). The rocket will not have a customer payload aboard.

Terran 1 stands 33.5 m (110 ft.) tall and is powered by nine first stage Aeon engines and one second stage Aeon engine that use liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas. The rocket has the following payload capacities:

  • Low Earth orbit: 1,250 kg (2,756 lb) to 185 km (115 miles)
  • Sun synchronous orbit: 900 kg (1,984 lb) to 500 km (311 miles)
  • Sun synchronous orbit: 700 kg (1,534 lb) to 1,200 km (746 miles).

Relativity Space is advertising dedicated launches at $12 million.

Orbital Launch Stats

U.S. companies have launched 15 times this year. SpaceX accounts for 12 of the 13 successful launches. Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket has the only other success. ABL Space Systems and Virgin Galactic each suffered a failure.

Orbital Launches by Nation

United States1321555.56

China is in second place with seven launches. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) launched six times times, with Galactic Energy conducting one flight of its Ceres-1 small satellite booster.

Russia has launched three times. India’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) succeeded on its second launch after failing on its first last year. Japan launched the H-IIA booster once.

Launches by Company/Agency

Galactic Energy1015
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries1011
Rocket Lab1013
ABL Space Systems0110
Virgin Orbit0110
* China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

SpaceX once again leads the world with a dozen launches, followed by CASC with five. Roscosmos has launches twice, while six other providers have one launch apiece under their belts.

SpaceX has launched 93.5 percent of all satellites so far this year. Six Falcon 9 orbited 315 Starlink satellites plus two payloads from other companies. The Transporter-7 rideshare mission launched 114 satellites last month.

Launches by Booster

Launch VehicleCompany/AgencySuccessesFailuresTotal
Falcon 9SpaceX11011
Long March 2C, DCASC404
Ceres-1Galactic Energy101
ElectronRocket Lab101
Falcon HeavySpaceX101
Long March 7ACASC101
LauncherOneVirgin Orbit011
Long March 3B/ECASC101
RS1ABL Space Systems011

SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rockets 11 times and the Falcon Heavy once. China’s Long March 2C and 2D rockets launched a combined three times.

Launches by Location

Cape CanaveralUSA707
Mid-Atlantic Regional SpaceportUSA101
Satish DhawanIndia101
PSC – AlaskaUSA011

Florida remains the busiest launch location on Earth with nine launches. Vandenberg is in second place with three launches, followed by Baikonur and Jiuquan with two each.

Suborbital Launches

NASA has conducted two sounding rocket launches from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Feb 16. The purpose of the flights was to test a new capability to support science research in the mesosphere.

Suborbital Launches
Excludes Ballistic Missile Tests

DateLauncher – OrganizationPayload – OrganizationPurposeLaunch Site
Feb. 16Improved Orion – NASAMesOrion – NASATech demoWallops
Feb. 16Improved Orion – NASAMesOrion – NASATech demoWallops