The initial launch of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft was scheduled for Thursday, March 10, but now has been pushed back to "no earlier than March 20," according to a NASA launch schedule. Officials are investigating the cause of the mold.
NASA spokesman Dan Huot told ABC News in an email there is "no suspected source at this time" for what caused the traces of mold in the fabric bags, which are used to pack clothes, food and other supplies for astronauts living at the International Space Station. The traces of mold were found during routine inspections and tests as officials packed the spacecraft.
Had the bags reached the International Space Station, they likely wouldn't have had an impact on astronauts.
"On board ISS, the environment is relatively dry and not easily hospitable to microbial growth," Huot said. "If necessary, the crew could also use disinfectant wipes to wipe affected surfaces."
Huot added NASA is now reviewing its launch schedule to determine if the Orbital ATK delay would push back the next resupply mission.