Three years ago, billionaire Jared Isaacman ordered three space flights from SpaceX as part of the Polaris program he organized. During one of these flights, it is planned to conduct the first ever spacewalk from the Crew Dragon spacecraft. It was assumed that this mission would be implemented in 2022, but due to difficulties encountered, it had to be postponed. Now it has become known that the first stage of the program called Polaris Dawn will be implemented “no earlier than summer 2024”.
“We now plan to launch Polaris Dawn, the first of three crewed spaceflights in the Polaris program, no earlier than the summer of 2024.”said a post on the Polaris social media account X. It also said the additional time is needed to ensure all mission objectives are met and preparations are made for the safe launch and return of the Crew Dragon crew to Earth.
Note that this is not the first time that the Polaris Dawn mission has been postponed. This launch was originally planned for December 2022. It was first pushed back to March 2023, then delayed until the summer, and ultimately pushed back indefinitely to 2024. Plans were later announced to launch in April 2024, but the mission has now been postponed once again. Each time, the message about the transfer of the mission was associated with difficulties that arose during the development of SpaceX spacesuits for spacewalks.
The Polaris Dawn crew continues interim flight preparation at SpaceX’s base in Hawthorne, California. In addition to physical training, crew members check out research equipment and test Starlink satellite internet capabilities inside the Crew Dragon. As for the mission itself, the ship’s crew will stay in orbit for up to five days and conduct 35 experiments aimed at studying the impact of space on human health. This will also be the first time that a spacewalk will be conducted from the Crew Dragon.