Countdown clocks are ticking this morning at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket awaits liftoff at 12:31 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A. Atop the rocket is a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft packed with more than 6,400 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware bound for the International Space Station.
Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on a mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 14 at 12:31 p.m. EDT. This will be the company’s twelfth commercial resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory.
The latest launch weather forecast remains essentially the same, with a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions at liftoff. Primary weather concerns will be cumulus clouds and flight through precipitation, although the early afternoon launch time is promising, according to the forecast discussion provided by the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron.
NASA, SpaceX and other launch and mission officials will participate in televised briefings today. A prelaunch news conference is planned for 2 p.m., followed by the “What’s on Board” briefing at 3:30 p.m. Both will be broadcast on NASA TV — watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Join us tomorrow for live countdown coverage beginning at noon here on NASA’s Launch Blog and on NASA TV.
Today’s “launch minus two days” weather forecast has been issued by meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron ahead of Monday’s planned liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft. The forecast continues to predict a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions. Primary concerns are cumulus clouds and the potential for precipitation in the flight path.
Liftoff is scheduled for 12:31 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This will be SpaceX’s twelfth commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station.
On Sunday, NASA TV will broadcast a prelaunch news conference at 2 p.m., followed at 3:30 p.m. by the “What’s on Board” science, research and technology briefing. Watch live at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting a 70 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft. Launch of the company’s twelfth commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 14 at 12:31 p.m. EDT from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Rain and thunderstorms are expected today and through the weekend, especially in the afternoon – a familiar summer weather pattern for Florida’s Space Coast. Heading into Monday, cumulus clouds and flight through precipitation are forecasters’ primary launch weather concerns, but the early afternoon launch time is helpful.
NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) has passed two more milestones as preparations continue toward liftoff. Launch of the newest addition to the agency’s TDRS constellation is slated for Aug. 18 at 8:03 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Processing activities at the Astrotech payload processing facility in nearby Titusville wrapped up with the TDRS-M spacecraft safely encapsulated in the payload fairing that will protect it through the early minutes of liftoff. The fairing arrived at the launch complex Aug. 9 after an early morning move from Astrotech. Now in position atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the vehicle and spacecraft will undergo additional testing ahead of launch.
The next SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (CRS-12) is now targeted for launch Monday, Aug. 14 at 12:31 p.m. EDT. The launch date would result in a grapple of the Dragon spacecraft on Aug. 16 at approximately 7 a.m. EDT by astronauts Jack Fischer of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency).
The Omni S-band antenna on NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-M) has been successfully removed and replaced at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. An unrelated electrostatic discharge incident has also been resolved, and launch processing has resumed. The spacecraft has been moved from the fueling stand and is now mated to the launch vehicle adapter as part of integrated operations with ULA.
The TDRS-M spacecraft is flight ready, and the Eastern Range has recently approved Aug. 18 as the launch date. NASA, Boeing, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are targeting a 40-minute launch window that would open at 8:03 a.m. EDT. TDRS-M will launch on an ULA Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
New service platforms for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) booster engines arrived at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The platforms were transported on two flatbed trucks from fabricator Met-Con Inc. in Cocoa, Florida. They were offloaded and stored inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
The platforms will be used for processing and checkout of the engines for the SLS’ twin five-segment solid rocket boosters for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). The boosters, in combination with the rocket’s four RS-25 engines, will produce more than 8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.
The first SLS mission, EM-1, will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the Moon and bring it back to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. The mission will demonstrate the integrated system performance of the rocket, Orion spacecraft and ground support teams prior to a crewed flight.
The Advanced Plant Habitat Flight Unit No. 1 that will be used for ground testing the agency’s newest plant habitat arrived at Kennedy Space Center on July 17. Over the past couple of weeks, the unit has undergone numerous inspections and checkout procedures and is now undergoing an Experiment Verification Test. This test, started on July 27, will allow the ground team at Kennedy to run through the procedures of the future Plant Habitat 01 Mission, or PH-01, that will grow aboard the International Space Station later this year. Both the test and the actual mission will grow Arabidopsis seeds, which are small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard.
The Advanced Plant Habitat was sent to the space station in two shipments on the Orbital ATK OA-7 and SpaceX CRS-11 resupply missions. Once it is set up, it will be a fully automated facility that will be used to conduct plant bioscience research. The Advanced Plant Habitat is an enclosed, closed-loop system with an environmentally controlled chamber. The habitat will use red, blue, green and broad-spectrum white LED lights and have 180 sensors to relay information back to the team at Kennedy. The habitat is scheduled to be activated aboard the orbiting laboratory this fall, with PH-01 beginning in late October.
Two of the three common booster cores comprising the rocket’s first stage have arrived on the company’s Mariner ship, which delivered the components to Port Canaveral in Florida. From there the cores were offloaded and transported to the Horizontal Processing Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37.
The Parker Solar Probe will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. The probe will rely on measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and the Sun-Earth connection.