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NASA delays Crew Dragon launch with Russian cosmonaut on board due to hurricane

NASA blames Hurricane Ian on its way to Florida

NEW YORK, September 28. /TASS/. The launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft to bring a multinational crew that includes Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina to the International Space Station (ISS) will be delayed by one day due to an approaching hurricane, NSASA said on its website.

According to NASA, the launch that was initially scheduled for October 3 is now due to take place no earlier than 12:23 p.m. EDT [19:23 Moscow time] Tuesday, Oct. 4." A backup opportunity will be available on Wednesday, October 5.

According to the US space agency, the delay was due to Hurricane Ian approaching Florida. Specialists continue to monitor weather conditions and "could adjust the launch date again, as necessary."

US President Joe Biden signed a decree to declare the state of emergency in Florida due to approaching Hurricane Ian, and ordered federal assistance to the state.

On July 15, Roscosmos announced that it had signed a deal on seat swap flights by Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts to the International Space Station. Head of the Roscosmos Cosmonaut Team Oleg Kononenko said at the time that the agreement under the seat swap program envisaged three flights by Russian cosmonauts aboard Crew Dragon spaceships.

The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.