A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Kennedy Space Center launchpad 39A in the rain ahead of the CRS 26 launch attempt on Nov. 22, 2022. (Image: SpaceX)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – SpaceX wasn't able to find a break in the rain and cloud cover over Florida's Space Coast to launch supplies and research to the International Space Station on Tuesday for NASA.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch a Cargo Dragon spacecraft on Tuesday at 3:54 p.m. from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. However, with the potential for the Falcon 9 to trigger lightning SpaceX opted to call off the liftoff Tuesday for safety reasons.
The backup launch window is Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2:20 p.m.
SpaceX also has another Falcon 9 on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Base, waiting to launch the Eutelsat 10B satellite at 9:57 p.m. Unfortunately, for both missions, the weather around the Florida spaceport on Tuesday is less than favorable for liftoff.
When it does happen, the CRS-26 launch will mark the 26th cargo resupply mission to the ISS by Elon Musk's company for the space agency.
SpaceX Dragon Mission Management Director Sarah Walker said this Dragon would be the last new cargo spacecraft built by the company. SpaceX has three Cargo Dragons and five Crew Dragons as part of its fleet.
The Cargo Dragon is packed with food and crew supplies for the seven astronauts living on the space station and dozens of scientific research and materials for the orbiting laboratory.
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Another round of the vegetable-growing experiment will be flying with Dragon. This time the astronauts will taste-test some "Red Robin" dwarf tomatoes grown in the ISS Food System. After eating the freshly grown snack, the astronauts will be asked to rate the tomatoes for taste, juiciness and texture.
‘Red Robin’ dwarf tomato growing in Veggie hardware at the Kennedy Space Center. (Image courtesy of NASA, ground study)
Two new ISS rollout solar arrays, or iROSAs, will be stored in the Dragon's trunk, continuing the work that started with another launch in June 2021 to upgrade the station's power grid. The second of three pairs of iROSAs will be installed outside the ISS during a series of spacewalks in late November.
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Four small satellites known as CubeSats, part of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) 49 mission, will launch with Dragon and be deployed in orbit. The shoebox-size spacecraft will study space weather, on-orbit materials and satellite communications.
SpaceX will try again to launch the supplies on Nov. 26 when the forecast improves to 60% favorable. The backup date requires approval Federal Aviation Administration because it's during peak Thanksgiving airline travel.
SpaceX CRS-26 launch forecast for Nov. 26, 2022 at 2:20 p.m.
When Dragon launches, the spacecraft will dock at the space station Harmony module about a day later. The spacecraft will remain docked at the space station for about 45 days.
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