Tropical Storm Elsa has thrown a wrench in the timing of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft undocking from the International Space Station, with high winds and heavy rains expected to hit the carrier’s landing site off the coast of Florida.
The Dragon was originally set to undock on Tuesday and land in Florida waters via parachute two days later. Now, NASA says the undocking will not occur until Wednesday at the earliest due to the threat of the storm that has killed at least three people in the Caribbean as it makes its way toward the Sunshine State.
“NASA and SpaceX flight control teams continue to monitor the weather and splashdown locations,” NASA said in a statement announcing the delay. “Certain parameters like wind speeds and wave heights must be within certain limits to ensure the safety of the recovery teams, the science, and the spacecraft.”
The SpaceX Dragon was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center on June 3 and arrived at the International Space Station 16 hours later, delivering more than 7,300 pounds of supplies for the crew. Upon its return, it will bring material from multiple scientific investigations conducted in space.
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