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Crew-3 successfully launches to the International Space Station

The four-person crew was originally set to launch from Florida's coast on Halloween.
Credit: AP via NASA
In this image released by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard stands upright at sunset on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-3 mission. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — UPDATE: Crew-3 successfully launched off into space at 9:04 p.m. ET. The astronauts are now on their way to the International Space Station.

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After several delays, Crew-3 and teams at NASA and SpaceX are hoping that the fourth time's a charm when it comes to getting the four-person crew off the ground.

The latest mission under the Commercial Crew Program has been pushed off four times with weather and a "minor medical issue" behind the first three delays. 

The most recent setback came with NASA and SpaceX's need to prioritize bringing the Crew-2 astronauts back home before sending any additional missions into space.

“These are dynamic and complex decisions that change day by day,” NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Manager Steve Stich said. “The weather in November can be especially challenging, so our goal is to move forward on the plan with the highest probability of mission assurance and crew safety.” 

Crew-3 will now target a 9:03 p.m. ET launch to the International Space Station on Nov. 10. Weather conditions have been given a 70-percent chance of being favorable for liftoff.

Once onboard the orbiting laboratory, astronauts will spend six months conducting research and experiments.

The mission will give the nation's top space agency the opportunity to "restore and maintain" American leadership in human spaceflight, while also continuing needed research at the orbiting laboratory.

"Such research benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future exploration of the Moon and Mars starting with the agency’s Artemis missions, which includes land[ing] the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface," NASA wrote in a press release.

Crew-3 will also continue the agency's push to continue to launch astronauts from American soil and on American rockets.

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