close video NASA, SpaceX send astronauts off to International Space Station
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Skies surrounding Cape Canaveral did not light up early Monday morning after NASA and SpaceX scrubbed its launch of the Crew-6 astronaut mission to the International Space Station.
The launch, originally scheduled for 1:45 a.m. from complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, was called off due to last-minute technical trouble.
The countdown was halted with just two minutes remaining until liftoff. With just a split second to blast off, there was no time to deal with the problem, which involved the engine ignition system.
The next available launch attempt is at 12:34 a.m. Thursday, March 2, pending resolution of the technical issue preventing Monday’s launch.
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"We’ll be sitting here waiting," commander Stephen Bowen assured everyone. "We’re all feeling good."
Bowen is part of a four-astronaut crew that includes one additional NASA astronaut, one Russian cosmonaut, and the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates assigned to a months-long mission, Sultan al-Neyadi. They will replace four space station residents who have been there since October.
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Crew-6 members: Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, NASA astronaut Warren Hoburg, Sultan Al Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates, and NASA astronaut Mission Commander Stephen Bowen walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building before (Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)
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Officials said the problem involved ground equipment used for loading the engine ignition fluid. The launch team could not be sure there was a full load. A SpaceX engineer likened this critical system to spark plugs for a car.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.