NASA TV to Air Events Supporting Next Space Station Resupply Mission

A SpaceX Falcon stands ready for lift off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
A Falcon 9 rocket stands ready for lift off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in this file photo from April‎ ‎8‎, ‎2016, for SpaceX CRS-8. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Preparations continue as NASA’s commercial cargo provider, SpaceX, is getting ready to launch its 14th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 2.

Weather forecasters with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th weather squadron at Patrick Air Force Base call for a 80 percent chance for favorable conditions for launch. The primary launch weather concerns are flight through precipitation and cumulus clouds with the showers.

Packed with almost 5,800 pounds of research material, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

You may follow the prelaunch briefings and the countdown taking place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on NASA Television at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

Today, April 1
2:30 p.m. – What’s on Board science briefing
4 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program, SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing.

Monday, April 2
4 p.m. – Launch coverage begins for liftoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – Post launch news conference at Kennedy with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX.

For the latest schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit:
https://www.nasa.gov/content/spacex-crs-14-briefings-and-events/

Learn more about the SpaceX resupply mission at: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex

SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Heads for Space Station After Successful Launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Dec. 15 at 10:36 a.m. EST from CCAFS.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft launched Dec. 15 at 10:36 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

A 4,800-pound care package is on its way to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The company’s 13th commercial cargo mission to resupply the space station began at 10:36 a.m. EST with liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

After a successful climb into space, the Dragon spacecraft now is in orbit with its solar arrays deployed and drawing power. The rocket’s first stage flew back for a successful landing at SpaceX’s Landing Zone One at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“This was a fantastic way  to end the year for SpaceX east coast launches,” said Jessica Jensen, director, Dragon Mission Management with SpaceX. “It was a great launch.”

The Dragon spacecraft will deliver science, research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory. Science experiments include the Total and Spectral Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) that will measure the Sun’s energy input to Earth, the Space Debris Sensor (SDS) that will directly measure the orbital debris environment around the space station for two to three years, and the Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature 7 (ACE-T-7) investigation, which involves the design and assembly of 3-D structures from small particles suspended in a fluid medium, structures that are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and electronic devices. Read more at https://go.nasa.gov/2mMUdSY.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture of the Dragon spacecraft will begin at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 on www.nasa.gov/live, with installation coverage set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Astronauts aboard the station will capture the Dragon using the space station’s robotic arm and then install it on the station’s Harmony module. The Dragon spacecraft will spend about one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth in mid-January with results of previous experiments.

For updates during the mission, visit https://www.nasa.gov/commercialresupply.

Dragon to Rendezvous with Space Station on Sunday

Several thousand pounds of supplies, equipment and experiments are on their way to the crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory. Dragon reached its preliminary orbit and its solar arrays have been deployed. A series of thruster firings are scheduled to allow the Dragon spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station on Dec. 17. Installation coverage is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Watch it live at www.nasa.gov/live.

NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will capture the Dragon using the space station’s robotic arm and then install it on the station’s Harmony module. The Dragon spacecraft will spend about one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth in mid-January with results of previous experiments.

Liftoff! SpaceX CRS-13 is Underway

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft launch from Pad 40 at 10:36 a.m. EST.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft launches from Space Launch Complex 40 at 10:36 a.m. EST at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

T-0, ignition and liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, setting off on the company’s 13th mission to deliver supplies, equipment and science materials to the International Space Station. The vehicle is quickly climbing away from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Ten Minutes Until Launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft on the launch pad.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are ready for launch on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

The countdown continues toward liftoff at 10:36 a.m. EST, 10 minutes from now. During this time, the Falcon 9’s engines will be chilled to condition them for launch, the flight computer will run its prelaunch checks and the rocket’s propellant tanks will be brought to flight pressure. Finally, SpaceX Launch Director John Muratore will verify “go for launch.”

About three minutes prior to launch, the gantry-like strongback support structure will be lowered away from the rocket. The terminal countdown begins at T-30 seconds.

What’s on Board?

Photographic documentation of a Micro Meteor Orbital Debris strike one of the window’s within the space station’s Cupola.
Photographic documentation of a Micro Meteor Orbital Debris strike one of the window’s within the space station’s Cupola. The Space Debris Sensor will measure the orbital debris environment for two to three years to provide impact detection and recording. Credits: NASA

During SpaceX’s 13th Commercial Resupply Services Mission to the International Space Station for NASA, the Dragon spacecraft will deliver nearly 4,800 pounds of supplies, equipment and several science investigations to the crew aboard the station. Among the science experiments are:

  • Total and Spectral Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) will measure the Sun’s energy input to Earth. It will measure the full spectrum of sunlight and the individual wavelengths to evaluate how the Sun affects Earth’s atmosphere. TSIS-1 will see more than 1,000 wavelength bands from 200 to 2400 nanometers. The visible of the spectrum the human eye sees goes from about 390 nanometers (blue) to 700 nanometers (red). A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.
  • Made in Space Fiber Optics is U.S. National Lab investigation sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). The Optical Fiber Production in Microgravity that will demonstrate the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment. Results from this investigation could lead to the production of higher-quality fiber optic products both in space and on the Earth.
  • Space Debris Sensor (SDS) will directly measure the orbital debris environment around the space station for two to three years. Mounted on the exterior of the station, the one square meter sensor uses dual-layer thin films, an acoustic sensor system, a resistive grid sensor system and a sensored backstop to provide near-real-time impact detection and recording. Research from this investigation could help lower the risk to human life and critical hardware by orbital debris.
  • Advanced Colloids Experiment- Temperature 7 (ACE-T-7) investigation involves the design and assembly of 3-D structures from small particles suspended in a fluid medium, structures that are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and electronic devices. Future space exploration may use self-assembly and self-replication to make materials and devices that can repair themselves on long-duration missions.

Read more at https://go.nasa.gov/2mMUdSY.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Set to Launch Dragon Spacecraft to the International Space Station

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft on pad 40 at CCAFS.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

Good morning from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft stand ready for liftoff at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Launch is targeted for 10:36 a.m. EST today, with an instantaneous launch window. This is SpaceX’s first launch from Pad 40 in 2017. The Falcon 9 rocket went vertical this morning and weather is 90 percent favorable for launch.

Today’s launch is a cross-country effort. Launch controllers at the Florida spaceport are working in concert with teams at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and SpaceX’s control center in Hawthorne, California. The launch blog originates from the NASA News Center here at Kennedy, a few miles west of the launch complex.

There’s more to come, so stay with us.