top of page

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