Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 Heads Toward Station

SpaceX CRS-6 LiftoffA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 4:10 p.m. EDT on the sixth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. At the time of launch, the orbiting laboratory was traveling at an altitude of 257 miles over the Great Australian Bight, south of Western Australia.

The spacecraft’s two tons of supplies, science experiments, and technology demonstrations include critical materials to support about 40 of more than 250 science and research investigations during the station’s Expeditions 43 and 44.

Launch Day Weather Forecast 60 Percent ‘Go’

The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron forecast for the launch of the sixth SpaceX commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station is 60 percent “go.” There is a 40 percent chance of violating the Anvil Cloud Rule and Cumulus Cloud Rule at the scheduled launch time of 4:10:41 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.

Countdown coverage begins at 3 p.m. on NASA’s Launch Blog and NASA Television.

The spacecraft is loaded with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies, science experiments, and technology demonstrations, including critical materials to support about 40 of more than 250 science and research investigations during the station’s Expeditions 43 and 44.

Briefings on Tap; L-1 Weather Forecast Still 60 Percent ‘Go’

U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron forecasters continue to predict a 60 percent of favorable conditions for the launch of SpaceX CRS-6 on Monday, April 13. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is targeted for exactly 4:33:15 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch coverage on NASA television will begin Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Today NASA will host a prelaunch briefing and two panel discussions to preview some of the 40 science and research investigations that will be directly supported by the critical cargo the sixth SpaceX commercial resupply services mission will deliver to the International Space Station. NASA Television will provide live coverage and streaming Internet coverage at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

1:30-2:30 p.m. – ISS Research and Technology Panel
3:30-4:30 p.m. – ISS National Lab Panel
5-6 p.m. – Prelaunch News Conference

L-3 Weather Forecast 60 Percent ‘Go’

Weather forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron are predicting a 60 percent chance of favorable weather at the scheduled time for launch of SpaceX CRS-6. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is targeted for 4:33 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 13, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Launch coverage on NASA Television will begin at 3:30 p.m. A Monday launch will result in the Dragon spacecraft arriving at the International Space Station Wednesday, April 15. Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will use the station’s 57.7-foot robotic arm to reach out and capture Dragon at approximately 7 a.m. Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA will support Cristoforetti as they operate from the station’s cupola. NASA TV coverage of grapple will begin at 5 a.m. Coverage of Dragon’s installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 9:15 a.m.

If launch does not occur on Monday, the next launch opportunity would be at 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14.

Launch Complex 39A Continues Evolution

SpaceX installs the exterior skin on hangar at Launch Complex 39A

SpaceX installs the exterior skin on hangar at Launch Complex 39AThe exterior skin begins to take shape of what will become SpaceX’s new 300-foot-long horizontal hangar at the base of Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A. Inside, the company will process the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket before being rolled out for launch. The company also is refurbishing the historic complex for Commercial Crew and Falcon Heavy launches.

SpaceX Targets April 13 for Launch to Station

SpaceX is targeting Monday, April 13 to launch the next commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is targeted for approximately 4:33 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m.

A Monday launch will result in the Dragon spacecraft arriving at the space station Wednesday, April 15. Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station’s 57.7-foot robotic arm to reach out and capture Dragon at approximately 7:14 a.m. Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA will support Cristoforetti as they operate from the station’s cupola. NASA TV coverage of grapple will begin at 5 a.m. Coverage of Dragon’s installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 9:15 a.m.

If the launch does not occur on Monday, the next launch opportunity would be at approximately 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 14.

This is the sixth SpaceX commercial resupply services mission and the seventh trip by a Dragon spacecraft to the station. Dragon is filled with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to support science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 43 and 44. After about five weeks at the space station, Dragon will return to Earth filled with cargo including crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, and space station hardware.

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex

To join the online conversation about the SpaceX CRS-6 launch, the International Space Station and Expedition 43 on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ISScargo and #ISS. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect