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NASA: Faulty filter caused Crew-6 to push back, launching tomorrow.

The Issue with Falcon 9 Ignition system was solved and dragon departs tomorrow with four astronauts.

NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 is the sixth rotation crew mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program.

The launch of the Falcon 9 v.12 FT Block 5 Carrier Rocket #B1078.1 with the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavor spacecraft"Crew-6" to the International Space Station (ISS) was delayed in the early hours of February 27, 2023 due to a clogged filter in the ground-based ignition fluid supply system destined for the rocket's engines. The announcement was made today, Wednesday, March 1, by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). "After a thorough analysis of the data NASA and SpaceX determined that the flow [of special TEA/TEB fluid] to the [soil collector] tank was reduced due to a clogged filter, and the SpaceX team replaced the filter." According to the schedule, a new launch attempt should take place tomorrow, March 2 at 12:34 a.m EST (05:34 GMT) and its docking with the Harmony module of the US segment of the ISS is scheduled for the 3rd of March at 01:17 EST (0617 UTC). The weather for the launch dates predicts March 2nd to have a 90% chance of clear weather; for day 3, probability of 70% and for day 4, 40%.

NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, mission commander, and Warren Hoburg, pilot, along with UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev, as mission specialists, will travel to the space station for a science expedition mission of six months.

Crews gave up the attempt on Feb. 27 to review an unusual data signature related to confirmation of a bleed of fluid supplied by the triethylaluminum-triethylborone (TEA-TEB) ground support system. This TEA-TEB, packed in nitrogen-pressurized ampoules, is an ignition system fluid (T-bar subsystem, “T-bar”) used to start the nine Merlin 1D Plus engines of first stage kerosene/liquid oxygen. The bleeding process ensures that there is an adequate supply of this fluid in each engine to mix with liquid oxygen and start the engines. During prelaunch, TEA-TEB fluid – which is loaded from a supply tank on the ground – flows to the rocket interface and back to a header tank to remove gas from the manifold. During engine starting, fluid flows to the engines for ignition. Flow in the header tank is one of several parameters used to determine if fluid has properly bled into the system.

After an analysis of the data and the ground system, NASA and SpaceX determined that there was reduced flow back to the capture tank due to the clogged ground filter. This filter explained the observed signature. SpaceX crews replaced this filter, purged the TEA-TEB line with nitrogen, and successfully verified the system's readiness.

New launch campaign Infographics

Launching from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, this is the sixth crew rotation mission with astronauts using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Commercial Crew Program. After separation, the B1078 first stage core will land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship , which will be stationed alongside the support vessel Bob 550 km off the coast of Florida. Launch activities and more information can be followed on NASA's website.

Crew-6 Walkout

One of the problems with oxygen-kerosene engines, in contrast to UDMH/N2O4 engines, is the complexity of a re-start capability. Kerosene and oxygen themselves do not ignite, and for this a pyrophoric liquid, the TEA-TEB mixture, is used. The components are inside a special container, an ampoule with nitrogen and, when you need to start the engines, you inject both and the engine starts. The vials of pyrophoric mixture are loaded into the rocket according to the number of ignitions of these engines. Initially it was speculated that it was just a malfunction of one of the sensors rather than a defect in the T-bar rather than contamination. Meanwhile, the release has been pushed back to March 2nd.

Continuous rotation of crews on the ISS

On February 26, the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which was supposed to return cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev, Dmitry Petelin and astronaut Frank Rubio to Earth instead of the damaged Soyuz MS-22, docked with the MIM-2 Poisk research module of the segment Russian from the ISS. Soyuz MS-23 is due to land on September 27th. On July 15 last year, Roscosmos announced the signing of an agreement on joint cross-flights of Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts to the ISS, which implies three flights of Russians on American spacecraft.

The flight is the sixth crew rotation mission and the seventh by a Crew Dragon with crew as part of the commercial program. Bowen and Hoburg were assigned in December 2021 and began training on the spacecraft and space station systems. Fedyaev and AlNeyadi were added as the third and fourth members in July 2022. As part of the refurbishment process on the spacecraft, crews installed new components, including the heat shield, nose canopy, cylindrical trunk struts and radiator (trunk). , the forward bulkheads and service section Draco engines.

The USCV-6 “Crew-6” mission

This will be the fourth trip for Bowen, a veteran of three shuttle missions: STS-126 in 2008, STS-132 in 2010 and STS-133 in 2011. Bowen has logged more than forty days in space, including 47 hours, 18 minutes during seven spacewalks. As mission commander, he will be responsible for all phases of the flight, from launch to re-entry, and will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 69 aboard the station. Bowen was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and an MS in ocean engineering from the Joint Program in Applied Ocean Science and Engineering offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In July 2000,

The mission will be Hoburg's first flight since his selection as an astronaut in 2017. As a pilot, he will be responsible for the spacecraft's systems and performance. Aboard the station, he will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 69. Hoburg is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of his selection as an astronaut, Hoburg was an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Hoburg's research focused on efficient methods for designing engineering systems. He is also a commercial pilot with instrument ratings in both single-engine and multi-engine aircraft.

Al Neyadi will make his first trip to space, representing the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) of the United Arab Emirates. He was one of two selected from 4,022 applicants to become the Emirati's first astronauts, after a series of physical and mental tests at home and in Russia. He went through the Emirates Astronaut Program at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center. In September 2018, Prime Minister of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that the first Emirati astronauts on the International Space Station were Hazza Al Mansouri and Al Neyadi. It was later announced that Al Mansouri would fly the first mission, with Al Neyadi as a backup. Al Mansouri launched on Soyuz MS-15 in September 2019 for an eight-day flight to the ISS before returning to Earth on October 3.

Sultan Al Neyadi was born in Um Ghafa, a remote area outside of Al Ain. He lived his childhood in his grandfather's house, and studied at Boys Primary School at Um Ghafa Secondary School. His father served in the UAE Armed Forces.

He will be the first Emirati astronaut to fly on a commercial American spacecraft. MBRSC's participation in this mission is a byproduct of a 2021 agreement between NASA and Axiom to fly an American astronaut, Mark T. Vande Hei, aboard Soyuz MS-18 (launch) and Soyuz MS-19 (return). , in order to ensure a continued American presence aboard the ISS. In return, Axiom received the rights to a NASA-owned seat aboard Crew-6. Axiom offered the professional MBRSC crew member the opportunity to fly through an agreement with the UAE Space Agency. Later, the astronaut was confirmed as Sultan Al Neyadi.

Fedyaev will also make his first trip and will also serve as a mission specialist, working to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of the flight. He will be a flight engineer for Expedition 69. Fedyaev was selected in July 2022 for this mission as part of the Soyuz-Dragon crew exchange system of keeping at least one American astronaut and one Roscosmos cosmonaut on each of the crew rotation missions . This ensures that both countries have a presence on the station and the ability to keep their systems separate if the Soyuz or commercial crew vehicles are down for an extended period. Konstantin Borisov is his replacement.

Once in orbit, the SpaceX crew and Mission Control in Hawthorne, California., will monitor a series of automatic maneuvers that will guide Endeavor to the Harmony module docking port. After several maneuvers to increase its orbit, Endeavor will be in a position to rendezvous with the ISS. The spacecraft is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew can take over if necessary. Once docked, Crew-6 will be received by the Expedition 69 crew.

Astronauts from the US portion of the current mission, Crew-5, will undock their capsule from the station and land off the coast of Florida several days after Crew-6 arrives.

Crew-6 will conduct "scientific research to prepare for manned exploration beyond low orbit and benefit life on Earth", as the American space agency likes to proclaim. Experiments will include studies of how specific materials ignite in microgravity, tissue chip research into heart, brain and cartilage functions, and an experiment that will collect microbial samples from outside the space station. There are more than 200 scientific experiments and technological demonstrations. During its time on board, Crew-6 will see the arrival of cargo spacecraft, including SpaceX's Cargo Dragon and Russian Progress. Crew-6 is also expected to host Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts with Starliner and commercial crew from Axiom Mission-2 (on another Crew Dragon) during its expedition.

At the conclusion of the mission, Dragon Endeavor will automatically undock with all four crew on board, depart the station and re-enter Earth's atmosphere. After landing off the coast of Florida, a SpaceX recovery vessel will pick up the crew, who will be airlifted to shore by helicopter.

The mission emblem is explained as follows: The Dragon spacecraft represents both the destination, the International Space Station, and the ships that “countless explorers have led into the unknown” , in the politically correct words of the public relations team of the American space agency. The station is at the dawn of missions to the Moon and Mars. The ship's sail, a symbol of NASA's astronaut class of 2012, has curved silhouettes corresponding to Earth, Moon and Mars. The constellation Draco represents NASA's Commercial Crew Program and shares its name with the spacecraft's orbital tuning engines. The dragon bow sculpture "looks to the future as we look to Earth, grateful for the tireless hours of all who support the mission".

Launch Timeline

All approximate times hh min ss event

00:45:00 Launch director checks propellant supply 00:42:00 Crew access arm retracts 00:37:00 Launch escape system armed 00:35:00 RP-1 kerosene supply started 00 :35:00 LOX (liquid oxygen) supply started 00:16:00 2nd stage LOX supply started 00:07:00 Rocket starts to cool down engine before launch 00:05:00 Spacecraft Dragon passes to internal power 00:01:00 Computer command for final prelaunch checks 00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins 00:00:45 Launch director checks readiness for liftoff 00:00:03 Engine controller commands ignition sequence for takeoff 00:00:00 Takeoff

All approximate times hh min ss event

00:01:02 Max Q (maximum moment of stress on the rocket) 00:02:34 1st stage main engine cut (MECO) 00:02:38 Separate 1st and 2nd stages 00:02:45 2nd engine ignition stage 00:07:22 1st stage re-entry ignition 00:08:47 2nd stage engine cut (SECO-1) 00:08:59 1st stage landing burn 00:09:26 1st stage landing 00: 11:57 Spacecraft separates from 2nd stage 00:12:45 Dragon nose opening sequence begins


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