Weather forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather at the scheduled time for launch of SpaceX CRS-5. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is targeted for 4:47 a.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 10, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The primary weather concerns are thick cloud layers and flight through precipitation.
Launch coverage will begin right here on the blog at 3:30 a.m. A Saturday liftoff will result in the Dragon spacecraft arriving at the space station on Monday, Jan. 12. Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA will use the station’s 57.7-foot robotic arm to reach out and capture Dragon at 6:12 a.m. Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will support Wilmore as they operate from the station’s cupola. NASA TV coverage of grapple will begin at 4:30 a.m. Coverage of Dragon’s installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 8:15 a.m.
SpaceX will make its next attempt to launch the Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to send the unpiloted Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station on Saturday, Jan. 10. Launch time is approximately 4:47 a.m. Eastern time. NASA TV coverage will begin at 3:30 a.m. Eastern time.
A launch on Saturday would result in Dragon arriving at the station for its grapple on Monday, Jan. 12 at approximately 6 a.m. Eastern time.
The backup launch opportunity would be on Tuesday, Jan. 13 with launch at approximately 3:36 a.m. Eastern time. That would result in a grapple of Dragon on Thursday, Jan. 15 at approximately 6 a.m. Eastern time.
The move of the launch date to Jan. 10 results in a Dragon departure from the station on Tuesday, Feb. 10.
There is a 90 percent chance of favorable weather for the next available SpaceX CRS-5 launch opportunity on Friday, Jan. 9, with the possibility of flight through precipitation as forecasters’ primary concern.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scheduled for Tuesday aborted with one minute, 21 seconds left on the countdown clock. A thrust vector control actuator for the Falcon 9’s second stage failed to perform as expected, resulting in a launch abort. SpaceX is evaluating the issue and will determine the next opportunity to launch the company’s fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
If a decision is made to launch on Friday, the liftoff time would be at 5:09 a.m. EST. Live coverage would begin at 4 a.m. A launch on Friday would place Dragon on a 24-hour fast track trajectory to the space station, with grapple on Saturday, Jan. 10, at 5:56 a.m. Rendezvous and grapple coverage would begin at 4:30 a.m.
The next launch opportunity would be at 4:47 a.m. Saturday.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scheduled for this morning at 6:20 a.m. EST aborted with one minute, 21 seconds left on the countdown clock. A thrust vector control actuator for the Falcon 9’s second stage failed to perform as expected, resulting in a launch abort.
SpaceX is evaluating the issue and will determine the next opportunity to launch the company’s fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The next available opportunity to launch to the station would be Friday, Jan. 9.
“Actuator drift” on the rocket’s second-stage thrust vector control system occurred late in the countdown, automatically triggering the abort. The issue will need to be resolved before Friday’s launch attempt, which would be at 5:09 a.m. EST.
The strongback has returned to its upright position.
The countdown has been aborted for today.
Both the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft are on internal power, and the strongback, a gantry-like support tower, has been lowered in anticipation of liftoff.
Liquid oxygen topping will end in about one minute.
Photo credit: SpaceX
Seven minutes remaining until the 6:20 a.m. liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Countdown clocks passed the 10-minute mark a moment ago. The Falcon 9 and Dragon autosequences have started, meaning all the systems on the rocket and spacecraft are carried out automatically.