The rocket awaiting launch this morning is the SpaceX Falcon 9, a two-stage vehicle topped by the company’s uncrewed Dragon spacecraft. The Falcon 9 first stage is powered by nine Merlin engines that ignite at T-0; its second stage has a single Merlin engine that takes over after separation of the first stage. Merlin engines, also built by SpaceX, run on a combination of cryogenic liquid oxygen and a refined kerosene fuel called RP-1.
Installed atop the rocket, the Dragon spacecraft is loaded with cargo bound for the International Space Station. The Dragon offers a pressurized section as well as an unpressurized “trunk” section for additional cargo. Also located in the trunk are the spacecraft’s power-producing solar arrays, which will open shortly after Dragon arrives in orbit.
Liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is on schedule for 10:36 a.m. EST. Countdown activities are in progress at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, where the rocket awaits launch on the company’s 13th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station.
Be sure to join us here on the blog and on NASA Television at 10 a.m. for updates from the countdown.
NASA and our commercial cargo provider SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Dec. 12 at 11:46 a.m. EST for their 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. This new launch date takes into account pad readiness, requirements for science payloads, space station crew availability, and orbital mechanics. Carrying about 4,800 pounds of cargo including critical science and research, the Dragon spacecraft will spend a month attached to the space station.
NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting its 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for no earlier than 1:20 p.m. EST Friday, Dec. 8. Packed with almost 4,800 pounds of research, 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.
Space-age plants are growing in first lady Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden. The seeds, prepared at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, are from the same lot of ‘Tokyo Bekana’ Chinese cabbage seeds that are part of the Veg-03 experiment that will be carried to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft during its eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission.
The first lady joined students from across the country to plant the seedlings. Also joining her were NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman, and astronaut Cady Coleman. Gioia Massa, NASA Veg-03 science team lead at Kennedy, also helped plant the seedlings with the kids.