SpaceX’s next freight launch to the space station deferred from Friday because of odd fuel reading

SpaceX’s next freight mission to the International Space Station won’t send off this week all things considered.

The mechanical flight, called CRS-25, will send a SpaceX Dragon container toward the circling lab on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The takeoff had been planned for Friday (June 10), yet that won’t occur.

“NASA and SpaceX are standing down from this week’s Falcon 9 launch of the CRS-25 cargo mission to the International Space Station,” NASA officials wrote in an emailed statement this afternoon (June 6). “Officials from NASA and SpaceX met today to discuss an issue identified over the weekend and the best path forward.”

That issue includes hydrazine, the charge utilized by Dragon’s Draco engines. While filling Dragon up, professionals estimated raised fume readings of hydrazine in one piece of the Draco framework, the NASA explanation made sense of.

“The propellant and oxidizer have been offloaded from that region to support further inspections and testing,” the statement added. “Once the exact source of the elevated readings is identified and cause is determined, the joint NASA and SpaceX teams will determine and announce a new target launch date.”

As its name recommends, CRS-25 will be the 25th mechanical resupply run that SpaceX dispatches to the International Space Station for NASA. The mission will be the third for this specific Dragon, which additionally sent off on freight missions to the circling lab in December 2020 and August 2021.

A SpaceX Dragon is now docked to the circling lab — the container named Freedom, which conveyed four space travelers to the station in late April for a six-month stay. SpaceX holds a different agreement with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to lead such space explorer missions and has previously sent off five of them to date, including a manned exhibition trip in May 2020.