The departure of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon from the International Space Station was postponed on Monday morning because of weather in the splashdown zone off the east coast of Florida.
The uncrewed spacecraft was initially scheduled to undock at 9:25 a.m. ET. but was pushed back to 10 a.m. ET on account of bad weather off Daytona. The departure was scratched for the day shortly before 10 a.m. ET.
“A new undocking date and time is currently being evaluated,” tweeted NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
If undocking had proceeded as planned, Cargo Dragon was scheduled to make a parachute-assisted splashdown around 9 pm E.T. Monday.
“Splashing down off the coast of Florida enables quick transportation of the science aboard the capsule to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station Processing Facility, and back into the hands of the researchers,” explained NASA in a note released on Jan. 4. “This shorter transportation timeframe allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects.”
The CRS-21 cargo craft launched to the International Space Station on Dec. 6, 2020, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The cargo ship delivered over 6,400 pounds of hardware, research and crew supplies.
Last week, Northrop Grumman’s uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft departed the space station. Cygnus will remain in orbit until Jan. 26, testing new technologies before its fiery destruction on reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
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