Russia's Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft was originally set to launch three astronauts toward the station on Oct. 15. But the Soyuz's liftoff will be delayed by about a week while technicians install a replacement part to fix a technical issue, Russian space officials announced Sunday (Sept. 16).
The window is thus open fairly wide for SpaceX's Dragon capsule to blast off in the first two weeks of October."The new launch date will help de-conflict the station's schedule for the upcoming launch of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft," NASA's Amiko Kauderer said in an International Space Station mission commentary yesterday (Sept. 17).
But it won't mark the capsule's first visit to the space station. In May, Dragon became the first private spacecraft ever to dock with the $100 billion orbiting complex during a historic demonstration flight.