Strong winds off the coast of Florida prompted SpaceX to delay the return of four astronauts to the space station, who have been in orbit since spring.
American, French and Japanese astronauts were scheduled to leave the International Space Station on Sunday, and their capsule crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday morning. But due to gusts of wind exceeding safety limits, SpaceX rescheduled the flight until Monday afternoon, returning at night to complete the six-month mission.
The good news is that their trip home will last eight hours, half the time it had before. The toilet in their capsule is broken, so four of them will have to rely on diapers to fly home.
SpaceX is still keen to launch their replacement on Wednesday night. This flight was also delayed due to bad weather as well as an undisclosed medical problem for the astronaut. According to officials, the problem, which is called minor, should be resolved by the time of launch.
Last week, SpaceX and NASA changed their launch and landing order due to worsening weather and an approaching deadline for returning the capsule from the space station. SpaceX capsules are certified for a maximum stay in orbit of 210 days, and the stay in orbit is approaching 200 days.