As Tropical Storm Elsa approaches Florida, NASA and SpaceX have decided to postpone the departure of the SpaceX CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship from the International Space Station (ISS). According to NASA, the cargo ship, which was supposed to leave the space station on Tuesday (July 6), will remain connected to the station’s Harmony module until at least Wednesday (July 7).
The decision was made as Tropical Storm Elsa approached Florida, bringing with it strong winds, heavy rains, and tidal surges that would make splashdown and recovery of the capsule dangerous. During the recovery effort, NASA’s ground crews will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that wave heights and wind speeds remain within safe limits, according to NASA. According to the space agency, the undocking will be shown live on NASA TV beginning at 10:45 a.m. EDT on Wednesday.
According to a NASA statement, the spacecraft will return to Earth with approximately 5,000 lbs (2,300 kg) of material from the space station, including tests examining the activity of oral bacteria in space and the efficacy of medications targeted to boost muscular performance.The splashdown of Dragon, controlled by SpaceX engineers in Hawthorne, California, is now scheduled for Friday (July 9). The ship will subsequently be carried to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where NASA‘s Space Station Processing Facility is located.