Weather Perfect for NASA’s SpaceX Launch from Kennedy

SpaceX's 29th commercial resupply services contract mission launch from Kennedy Space Center
SpaceX’s 29th commercial resupply services mission for NASA will carry scientific research, technology demonstrations, crew supplies, and hardware to the International Space Station. Liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is targeted for 8:28 EST tonight. Photo credit: NASA

Meteorologists with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron are calling for 100% favorable weather conditions for launch of tonight’s SpaceX 29th commercial resupply services mission for NASA to the International Space Station.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft atop, is targeted to lift off from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. The instantaneous launch window is at 8:28 p.m. EST.

Our live broadcast begins at 8 p.m. – watch on NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and on the agency’s website, or get live updates here on the blog.

NASA’s SpaceX’s CRS-29 Launch Readiness Review Complete, Prelaunch News Conference Next

Teams with NASA and SpaceX completed the final major review before launch – the Launch Readiness Review – for the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.

At the conclusion of the review, teams confirmed the target launch time of 8:28 p.m. EST, Thursday, Nov 9. Tune in to the agency’s website at 4 p.m. today, Nov. 8, to hear from NASA and SpaceX officials during a prelaunch teleconference.

Participants include:

  • Dana Weigel, deputy program manager, International Space Station Program
  • Meghan Everett, deputy chief scientist, International Space Station Program Research Office
  • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
  • Melody Lovin, launch weather officer, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will lift off from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida to deliver more than 6,500 pounds of crew supplies, equipment, and science experiments to the orbiting laboratory.

Weather officials with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron are currently predicting a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. The primary weather concern is the cumulus cloud rule.

Let people know you’re following the mission on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtags #Dragon and #CRS29. You can also stay connected by following and tagging these accounts:

X: @NASA, @NASAKennedy, @NASASocial, @Space_Station, @ISS_Research, @ISS National Lab
Facebook: NASANASAKennedyISSISS National Lab
Instagram: @NASA, @NASAKennedy, @ISS, @ISSNationalLab

Weather 95% Favorable for NASA’s SpaceX Launch from Kennedy

Weather officials with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron predict a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions for liftoff of the 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, scheduled for 8:28 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 9. The primary weather concern is the thick cloud layers rule.

Packed with more than 6,500 pounds of cargo, SpaceX’s Dragon will deliver scientific research, technology demonstrations, crew supplies, and hardware to the International Space Station to support its Expedition 70 crew, including NASA’s Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) and Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE).

Arrival to the station is scheduled for approximately 5:20 a.m. EST Saturday, Nov. 11. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will dock autonomously to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.

The spacecraft is expected to spend about one month attached to the orbiting laboratory before it returns to Earth with research and about 3,800 pounds of return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

NASA, SpaceX Now Targeting Nov. 9 for Launch

NASA's SpaceX 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission launch to the International Space Station
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft atop, lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 5, 2023, on the company’s 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission for the agency to the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 8:28 p.m. EST. Thursday, Nov. 9, for launch of the 29th commercial resupply services mission. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 8:28 p.m. EST, Thursday, Nov. 9, for launch of the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The additional time allows for completion of final prelaunch closeout ahead of liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

To read more in depth about the new launch date, as well as an update about NASA astronauts’ latest spacewalk, click here.

Packed with more than 6,500 pounds of cargo, SpaceX’s Dragon will deliver scientific research, technology demonstrations, crew supplies, and hardware to the space station to support its Expedition 70 crew, including NASA’s Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) and Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE).

The spacecraft is expected to spend about one month attached to the orbiting laboratory before it returns to Earth with research and about 3,800 pounds of return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

NASA Releases Exciting New App

NASA is making it easier for the public to spot the International Space Station and expanding access to news and resources about the microgravity laboratory with a new Spot the Station mobile app. The mobile app is available to download now on iOS and Android.

The app builds on the agency’s Spot the Station website by providing additional capabilities and information to enhance the station sighting experience for the public. An augmented reality interface makes it easier for users to locate the station and provides options for capturing and sharing pictures and videos of their sightings in real-time.

Click here to read the complete release.

NASA Sets Coverage for Next SpaceX Resupply Launch to Space Station

NASA"s SpaceX 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission launch
Shown here is a composite view of the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the company’s Dragon spacecraft, as it soars upward after liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 5, 2023, on the company’s 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission for the agency to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 9:16 p.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 7, to launch the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Live launch coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and on the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Monday, Nov. 6. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver new science investigations, food, supplies, and equipment to the international crew, including NASA’s AWE (Atmospheric Waves Experiment), which studies atmospheric gravity waves to understand the flow of energy through Earth’s upper atmosphere and space.

Arrival to the station is planned for shortly before 12 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.

The spacecraft is expected to spend about a month attached to the orbital outpost before it returns to Earth with research and return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

The deadline has passed for media accreditation for in-person coverage of this launch. The agency’s media accreditation policy is available online. More information about media accreditation is available by emailing:
ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov.

Click here to read the full media advisory.

NASA’s SpaceX 29th Commercial Resupply Services Mission Launch Targeted for Nov. 7

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 9:16 p.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 7, for launch of the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The additional time allows for completion of final prelaunch processing ahead of liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and cargo Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA Television coverage of launch will begin at 8:45 p.m. The spacecraft, which is carrying approximately 6,500 pounds of supplies, research, and hardware will arrive at the space station shortly before 12 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, with coverage beginning at 10:15 a.m.

Progress Continues Toward NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test to Station

The crew module and new service module for NASA's Boeing Crew Flight Test at Kennedy Space Center.
Inside Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 19, 2023, the Starliner team works to finalize the mate of the crew module and new service module for NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test that will take NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to and from the International Space Station. Photo credit: Boeing/John Grant

NASA and Boeing are working to complete the agency’s verification and validation activities ahead of Starliner’s first flight with astronauts to the International Space Station. While Boeing is targeting March to have the spacecraft ready for flight, teams decided during a launch manifest evaluation that a launch in April will better accommodate upcoming crew rotations and cargo resupply missions this spring.

Once the spacecraft meets the agency’s safety requirements, NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT) will see astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams perform the first crewed mission of the spacecraft designed to take astronauts to and from the orbital laboratory.

Ahead of CFT, Boeing has completed P213 tape removal in the upper dome of the Starliner crew compartment and work is underway to remove or remediate the tape in the lower dome of the spacecraft. These hardware remediation efforts inside the Starliner production facility at NASA Kennedy are expected to be completed during the next several weeks. After the P213 tape remediation efforts conclude, engineers will conduct final assessments to ensure acceptable risk of any remaining tape.

A set of parachutes is on track to be delivered and installed on the CFT spacecraft by the end of this year to support the current target launch date. Separately, the team also is planning a drop test of Starliner’s updated drogue and main parachutes. The parachutes will incorporate a planned strengthening of main canopy suspension lines and the recent design of the drogue and main parachute soft-link joints, which will increase the safety factor for the system. The drop test is planned for early 2024 based on the current parachute delivery schedule.

Boeing and NASA also are planning modifications to the active thermal control system valves to improve long-term functionality following a radiator bypass valve issue discovered during ground operations earlier this year. As discussed during a Starliner media teleconference in June, teams have modified the spacecraft hardware and identified forward work to prevent a similar issue in the future. Options include a system purge to prevent stiction, component upgrades and operational mitigations.

Additionally, about 98% of the certification products required for the flight test are complete, and NASA and Boeing anticipate closure on remaining CFT certification products early next year. Meanwhile, NASA and Boeing have made significant progress on requirement closures related to manual crew control of the spacecraft and abort system analysis.

The latest version of Starliner’s CFT flight software completed qualification testing and is undergoing standard hardware and software integration testing inside Boeing’s Avionics and Software Integration Lab. Starliner’s crew and service modules remain mated and await continuation of standard preflight processing.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket also is in Florida at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station awaiting integration with the spacecraft.

The NASA astronauts who will fly aboard CFT continue to train for their roughly eight-day mission to the orbiting laboratory, which includes working with operations and mission support teams to participate in various simulations across all phases of flight.

Starliner completed two uncrewed flight tests, including Orbital Flight Test-2, which docked to the space station on May 21, 2022, following a launch two days prior from Kennedy. The spacecraft remained docked to space station for four days before successfully landing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Follow NASA’s commercial crew blog or CFT mission blog for the latest information on progress. Details about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Artemis II Orion Crew and Service Modules Joined Together

Mating of the crew and service modules for the Artemis II Orion spacecraft was recently completed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Intergration of the crew and service modules for the Artemis II Orion spacecraft was recently completed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

On Oct. 19, the Orion crew and service modules for the Artemis II mission were joined together inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After successfully completing hardware installations and testing over the past several months, engineers connected the two major components of Orion that will fly NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Koch, along with CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen on a mission around the Moon and bring them home safely.

Now that the crew and service modules are integrated, the team will power up the combined crew and service module for the first time. After power on tests are complete, Orion will begin altitude chamber testing, which will put the spacecraft through conditions as close as possible to the environment it will experience in the vacuum of deep space.

NASA Updates Commercial Crew Planning Manifest

The International Space Station’s U.S. segment and portions of the Russian segment are pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly around of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on Nov. 8, 2021. Prominent at the top in this view, are the Columbus laboratory module, the Harmony module and its space-facing docking port, and the Kibo laboratory module with its external pallet. Credit: NASA

NASA and its industry partners Boeing and SpaceX are planning for the next set of missions to the International Space Station for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Crew-8

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the orbiting laboratory is targeted to launch no earlier than mid-February. The mission will carry NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin to the space station to conduct a wide range of operational and research activities. Routine maintenance and processing of the Crew-8 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is in work. This will be the first spaceflight for Dominick, Epps, and Grebenkin, and the third for Barratt. Crew-8 is expected to return to Earth in late August 2024, following a short handover with the agency’s Crew-9 mission.

Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT)

The first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft, named NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT), is planned for no earlier than mid-April. CFT will send NASA astronauts and test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on a demonstration flight to prove the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system. Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, spend approximately eight days docked to the space station, and return to Earth with a parachute and airbag-assisted ground landing in the desert of the western United States.

NASA will provide an updated status of CFT readiness as more information becomes available.

Crew-9

Looking further ahead in 2024, NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than mid-August for the launch of the agency’s Crew-9, SpaceX’s ninth crew rotation mission to the space station for NASA. An crew of four will be announced at a later date.

10th Crew Rotation Mission

The 10th commercial crew rotation opportunity to the space station is targeted for early 2025. NASA is planning for either SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1 mission in this slot. The Starliner-1 date was adjusted to allow for the post-flight review of the Crew Flight Test and incorporation of anticipated learning, approvals of final certification products, and completion of readiness and certification reviews ahead of that mission.

For more insight on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program missions to the orbiting laboratory follow the commercial crew blog. More details can be found @commercial_crew on X and commercial crew on Facebook.

NASA’s Psyche Mission Targeting Oct. 12 for Launch

 

Psyche spacecraft, shown close to a colorful asteroid.
Artist’s concept illustration depicting the spacecraft of NASA’s Psyche mission near the mission’s target, the metal asteroid Psyche.

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting Oct. 12 at 10:16 a.m. EDT for a Falcon Heavy launch of the Psyche mission from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The change allows the NASA team to complete verifications of the parameters used to control the Psyche spacecraft’s nitrogen cold gas thrusters. These thrusters are used to point the vehicle in support of science, power, thermal and other demands, such as spacecraft orientation and momentum management. The parameters were recently adjusted in response to updated, warmer temperature predictions for these thrusters. Operating the thrusters within temperature limits is essential to ensure the long-term health of the units.

The verification activities involve rerunning simulations and fine-tuning adjustments as required to the flight parameters and procedures.

NASA, SpaceX, and Psyche mission managers met today, Sept. 28, to conduct a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the FRR, teams provided an update on the mission status, and certified the readiness to initiate final launch preparation activities including a static fire test on Sept. 29.

Psyche has launch opportunities every day between Oct. 12 and Oct. 25.