Science and Exploration

SpaceX Crew-6 Launch Update

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
March 1, 2023
Filed under ,
SpaceX Crew-6 Launch Update
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen at sunset on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-6 mission. Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:34 a.m. EST Thursday, March 2, to launch the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will be from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

Live launch coverage will begin at 8:45 p.m., Wednesday, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Follow all events at:

Mission teams stood down from a Feb. 27 launch attempt to review an unusual data signature related to the ignition fluid, known as triethylaluminum triethylboron (TEA-TEB), used to start the Falcon 9’s first stage kerosene and liquid oxygen Merlin engines. SpaceX removed propellant from the Falcon 9 rocket and the crew safely exited the Dragon spacecraft. 

After a thorough review of the data and ground system, both NASA and SpaceX teams identified a clogged filter on the ground as the cause. SpaceX teams replaced the filter, purged the TEA-TEB line with nitrogen, and verified the lines are clean and ready for the next launch attempt early Thursday morning. 

The Crew-6 launch will carry two NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Warren Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will serve as mission specialists for a space station science expedition. 

This is the sixth crew rotation mission using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting laboratory as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. This Dragon is named Endeavour.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.