Test Day for Crew Dragon

padabortinfographicForecasters from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 70 percent chance of favorable weather for the SpaceX Pad Abort Test. The test is planned for 9 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX Launch Conductor Erin Beck informed the test team that there are no weather constraints at this time.

The SpaceX pad abort test team began communications checks at about 6:40 a.m. EDT. Teams are monitoring the weather and will receive an official brief from Launch Weather Officer Mike McAleenan a little later in the countdown. The pad perimeter at Space Launch Complex 40 is now clear of all personnel.

NASA will provide updates about the test on the Commercial Crew Blog and air the test live on NASA Television. The test will see a Crew Dragon and trunk – together about 20 feet tall – fly on the power of eight SuperDraco engines. There will be no crew members aboard the spacecraft during the test, which will simulate an emergency escape from the launch pad in the unlikely case of booster failing at liftoff or other scenario that would threaten astronauts inside the spacecraft.

Setting the Scene at SLC-40

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Reporters and photographers went out to Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this morning to set up equipment ahead of tomorrow’s pad abort test by the SpaceX Crew Dragon. The Crew Dragon is on a platform above the launch pad. For more photos throughout the test, go to our Flickr album.

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Forecast Remains 70 Percent ‘Go’ for Test on Wednesday

PAVonpad-cropOne day prior to the SpaceX Pad Abort Test, forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 70 percent chance of favorable weather. The test is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6, at Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The detailed weather rundown from the 45th Space Wing: Easterly winds remain strong across Central Florida today, with morning showers along the Space Coast. Also, models have come into better agreement on what will happen to the area of unsettled weather around South Florida and the Bahamas. The area will likely spawn a low pressure system late today or early Wednesday that will drift northward as it slowly intensifies. The exact track is still somewhat up in the air, but the model trends show for a more eastward development. This track will take the system away from the Spaceport, which will result in acceptable wind speeds for the test. Maximum winds to 5,000 feet will be ENE at 20 knots and this is the primary abort weather concern.

On Thursday, winds will continue to weaken as the area of low pressure continues to move northeast. Maximum winds to 5,000 feet will be northeasterly at 15 knots.

Pad Abort Test Weather 70 Percent ‘Go’

Pad_Abort_1.30_15The weather forecast remains 70 percent favorable for the SpaceX Pad Abort Test on Wednesday, May 6, from a platform at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The primary concern is for winds above 25 knots.

The test window will open at 7 a.m. and extend until 2:30 p.m. EDT. NASA will provide updates about the test on the Commercial Crew Blog and air the test live on NASA Television. The flight test is to see a Crew Dragon and trunk – together about 20 feet tall – fly on the power of eight SuperDraco engines. The test will not have crew members aboard the spacecraft, but will simulate an emergency escape from the launch pad in the unlikely case of booster failing at liftoff or other scenario that would threaten astronauts inside the spacecraft.

Pad Abort Test a Unique Evaluation Opportunity

17126936387_cc5278c026_oSpaceX and NASA teams will gain important insight into how the Crew Dragon spacecraft and its abort system perform during a test slated for Wednesday, May 6, engineers said today.

Next week’s flight test is to see a Crew Dragon and trunk – together about 20 feet tall – fly on the power of eight SuperDraco engines from a platform at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, simulating an emergency escape from the launch pad.

“This is what SpaceX was basically founded for, human spaceflight,” said Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Mission Assurance with SpaceX. “The pad abort is going to show that we’ve developed a revolutionary system for the safety of the astronauts, and this test is going to show how it works. It’s our first big test on the Crew Dragon.”

The test window will open at 7 a.m. May 6 and extend until 2:30 p.m. EDT. NASA will provide updates about the test on our Commercial Crew Blog and air the test live on NASA Television.

“No matter what happens on test day, SpaceX is going to learn a lot,” said Jon Cowart, NASA’s partner manager for SpaceX. “One test is worth a thousand good analyses.”

Learn more at http://go.nasa.gov/1bmETRS.AbortTest_videoWall-wide

Tune at 10 for Pad Abort Test Conversation

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NASA TV will air a discussion this morning about the upcoming pad abort test with NASA’s Jon Cowart and SpaceX’s Hans Koenigsmann as they talk through some of the details and expectations for the test. The conversation will begin at 10 a.m. EDT from the press site at Kennedy Space Center a few miles from the Space Launch Complex 40 where the pad abort test will take place. You can watch the preview on NASA TV or online: www.nasa.gov/ntv

SpaceX Targets May 6 for Pad Abort Test of New Crew Spacecraft

Pad_Abort_1.30_15SpaceX now is targeting Wednesday, May 6, for a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon, a spacecraft under final development and certification through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The test window will open at 7 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the test, which will simulate an emergency abort from a test stand on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

The media briefing previewing the test will take place at 10 a.m., Friday, May 1 in the Press Site TV auditorium at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This briefing will air live on NASA TV.

Briefing participants are:

  • Jon Cowart, NASA’s CCP partner manager
  • Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Mission Assurance at SpaceX

The ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency, and safely carry crew members out of harm’s way, is a critical element for NASA’s next generation of crewed spacecraft. SpaceX will perform the test under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but can use the data gathered during the development flight as it continues on the path to certification.

Under a separate Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, NASA’s CCP will certify SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Falcon 9 rocket and ground and mission operations systems to fly crews to and from the International Space Station.

Accreditation for the test and briefing already has closed to international media. U.S. media without permanent Kennedy credentials must apply by 5 p.m. today for the briefing and by 5 p.m. Monday, May 4 for test viewing. Apply online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

Green card holders must submit a scanned copy of their cards to jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov for processing no later than noon Monday, May 4. Questions about accreditation also may be addressed to Jennifer Horner by email or at 321-867-6598.

Badges for the briefing will be available for pickup Friday, May 1 at the Kennedy Badging Office on State Road 405, east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Kennedy Badging Office hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Badges for the abort test will be available Tuesday, May 5, beginning at 8 a.m., and Wednesday, May 6, beginning at 4 a.m. at the Press Accreditation Office on State Road 3 in Merritt Island. Two forms of unexpired, government-issued identification are required to receive a badge. One must be a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.

On test day, media should plan to arrive at the press site by 5:15 a.m. for transportation to the viewing location at CCAFS. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.

A Connection for the Future

17179167311_01f3959c44_o (1)In the next year, the International Space Station will gain two new docking ports for spacecraft visiting the orbiting laboratory, including the Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon under development in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Earlier this year, NASA astronauts conducted three spacewalks to rig the power, data, and communications cables for the docking ports.

The next step is to add the International Docking Adapters that will provide a flawless fit between the space station and any visiting spacecraft so crews can safely move between them through connecting hatches. The first docking adapter now is deep into processing at Kennedy Space Center to prepare for its delivery to the station on the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than June 19. The second adapter will go through similar processing later this year for launch on the ninth SpaceX resupply mission.

Engineers will continue in-depth analysis and measurements of the ports before they are launched. Commercial Crew providers, Boeing and SpaceX, are using the precise measurements and standards of the adapters and space station as they build the spacecraft and docking mechanisms they will launch to carry astronauts to the station.

SpaceX Commercial Crew Pad Abort Test Coverage and Credentialing Details

Pad_Abort_1.30_15SpaceX currently is targeting no earlier than Tuesday, May 5, for a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon development spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency and safely carry crew members out of harm’s way is a critical element for NASA’s next generation of crew spacecraft.

The company will have a four-hour window to conduct the test, beginning at about 9:30 a.m. EDT. SpaceX has an additional test opportunity on Wednesday, May 6. NASA TV will provide live coverage of the test. NASA TV also will air a media briefing previewing the test with SpaceX and NASA representatives at 10 a.m. Friday, May 1.

SpaceX will perform the test under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but can use the data gathered during the development flight as it continues on the path to certification. Under a separate Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will certify SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Falcon 9 rocket, ground and mission operations systems to fly crews to and from the International Space Station.

More about media credentialing and coverage details available here.