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NASA and SpaceX prep Halloween launch for Crew-3 to ISS

Trick or treat. Space is neat. Strap me in a Crew Dragon seat.

Crew-1 Crew Dragon Resilience during an ISS port relocation. Crew-3 will travel on a fresh Crew Dragon.

Four astronauts could get quite the treat on Halloween. NASA has set a targeted launch time of 2:21 a.m. ET on Oct. 31 (11:21 p.m. PT on Oct. 30). Crew-3 will take off with a lift from a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

NASA announced the Halloween date for SpaceX's Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station back in June, nudging the launch back a bit from its previous date of Oct. 23. 

Crew-3 will follow SpaceX's previous flights as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer are set to spend six months on the ISS. They will be flying on a new Crew Dragon spacecraft named Endurance.  

Space flight dates can easily slip for reasons ranging from technical delays to weather. In 2020, NASA and SpaceX planned to launch the Crew-1 mission on Halloween, but it ended up taking off on Nov. 15. Crew-3 already has a backup launch date of early morning Eastern time on Nov. 3 if needed.

Halloween might seem like a spooky time to launch into the darkness of space, but the astronauts will take it in stride. The ISS crew has been known to celebrate the holiday in orbit with Elvis and Darth Vader costumes. And as far as group costumes go, Crew-3 will all be wearing matching astronaut suits.