SpaceX CRS-16: What’s on Board?

The Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3), at left, and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) are in the SpaceX Dragon unpressurized trunk.
The Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3), at left, and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) are in the SpaceX Dragon unpressurized trunk. They will be delivered to the International Space Station on SpaceX’s 16th commercial resupply services mission for NASA. Launch is scheduled for Dec. 5, 2018, at 1:16 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

During SpaceX’s 16th Commercial Resupply Services Mission to the International Space Station for NASA, the Dragon spacecraft will deliver about 5,600 pounds of supplies, equipment and numerous science investigations to the crew aboard the station. Among the science experiments are:

  • Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) is an exterior payload on the International Space Station, RRM3 will demonstrate innovative methods to store and replenish cryogenic fluids in space. These fluids have chemical and physical properties that make them useful for spaceflight, but storing them is tricky because they boil off over time. In addition to replenishing cryogenic fluid, RRM3 will store it for six months with zero boil off to demonstrate the efficient use of these important consumables. RRM3 builds on two previous robotic refueling technology demonstrations–RRM1 and RRM2. Not only could these technologies make refueling spacecraft in orbit possible, but the resulting capabilities also could be applied to exploration missions to the Moon and Mars. Read more at https://sspd.gsfc.nasa.gov/RRM3.html.
  • The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) provides high-quality laser ranging observations of the Earth’s forests and topography required to advance the understanding of important carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity, and habitat. GEDI is mounted on the Japanese Experiment Module’s Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) and provides the first high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure at a global scale. These observations quantify the aboveground carbon stored in vegetation and changes that result from vegetation disturbance and recovery, the potential for forests to sequester carbon in the future, and habitat structure and its influence on habitat quality and biodiversity.
  • SEOPS’ SlingShot is a small satellite deployment system delivered by Dragon that fits inside the Cygnus spacecraft’s Passive Common Berthing Mechanism. The space station crew will install the SlingShot deployer and controller prior to Cygnus’s unberthing and departure. SlingShot can accommodate up to 18 CubeSat satellites of any format. After Cygnus is released from the station, the spacecraft navigates to an altitude of 280 – 310 miles (an orbit higher than the space station) to deploy the satellites.

Launch Day Arrives for SpaceX CRS-16

SpaceX CRS-16 Mission Patch.Liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is targeted for 1:16 p.m. EST today. 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 16th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station.

CRS-16 is the sixth U.S. resupply mission to the space station, and the fourth resupply mission for SpaceX this year.

Be sure to join us here on the blog and on NASA Television beginning at 12:45 p.m. for updates from the countdown. Learn more about the SpaceX CRS-16 mission by going to the mission home page at http://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

SpaceX CRS-16: Weather 90 Percent Favorable for Dec. 5 Launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2018.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2018, carrying the SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft. On its 14th commercial resupply services mission for NASA, Dragon delivered supplies, equipment and new science experiments for technology research to the space station. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray, Tim Powers, Tim Terry

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 90 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the company’s 16th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec 5 at 1:16 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. On launch day, the primary weather concern is liftoff winds.

Weather Improves to 60 Percent Chance Favorable for SpaceX CRS-16 Launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars upward after lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2018
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars upward after lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT, on April 2, 2018, carrying the SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft. On its 14th commercial resupply services mission for NASA, Dragon delivered supplies, equipment and new science experiments for technology research to the space station. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray, Tim Powers, Tim Terry

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 60 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the company’s 16th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec 4 at 1:38 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. On launch day, the primary weather concerns are violation of the thick cloud layer and cumulus cloud rules and flight through precipitation.

Science Briefing, Prelaunch News Conference Set for SpaceX CRS-16

SpaceX is targeting 1:38 p.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 4, for the launch of its 16th resupply mission to the International Space Station.
A two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 29, 2018. SpaceX is targeting 1:38 p.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 4, for the launch of its 16th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA

SpaceX’s 16th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA is targeted to launch at 1:39 p.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 4, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Join us Monday, Dec. 3, as we start SpaceX CRS-16 launch week coverage with prelaunch events on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

9:30 a.m. – What’s on Board science briefing from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The briefing will highlight the following research:

Jill McGuire, project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will discuss RRM3.

Dr. Ralph Dubayah, principal investigator, University of Maryland, and Bryan Blair, deputy principal investigator, Goddard, will discuss GEDI.

Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney, principal investigator, Tympanogen, will discuss an investigation into novel wound dressings and how antibiotics can be directly released on wound sites.

Nicole Wagner, LambdaVision, will discuss the Enhancement of Performance and Longevity of a Protein-Based Retinal Implant.

Winners of the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge:

Adia Bulawa, project lead, Staying Healthy in Space

Sarina Kopf, project lead, Aeroponic Farming in Microgravity

3:30 p.m. – Prelaunch News Conference from Kennedy with the following representatives:

Joel Montelbano, deputy ISS program manager, NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX

Kirt Costello, ISS program chief scientist, Johnson

Clay Flinn, launch weather officer

For the latest schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/content/spacex-crs-16-briefings-and-events/

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

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.