CRS-15 Launch Coverage Begins

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft await liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft await liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Image credit: NASA TV

Despite the early hour, countdown clocks are marking the time toward a 5:42 a.m. EDT liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on the company’s 15th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing are keeping an eye on the weather across the launch area, but the forecast predicts a 90 percent chance of favorable conditions.

At Space Launch Complex 40 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, prelaunch activities are proceeding on schedule. Propellant loading operations are in progress.

Launch team members are stationed at consoles here at the Florida spaceport, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and at the SpaceX control center located in Hawthorne, California. Today’s launch blog comes to you from the news center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, about three miles west of the launch site.

Stay with us for more as the countdown continues.

 

SpaceX CRS-15 Set for Liftoff Early Friday

SpaceX’s 15th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station is slated to begin before dawn Friday. Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is scheduled for at 5:42 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Dragon is packed with more than 5,900 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware.

The launch forecast predicts a 90 percent chance of favorable weather, according to meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing.

Join us right here on the launch blog for countdown updates beginning at 5:15 a.m.

SpaceX CRS-15 Prelaunch Events Today

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 on July 18, 2017, at the start of the CRS-9 mission.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 on July 18, 2017, at the start of the CRS-9 mission. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray

NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting 5:42 a.m. EDT on Friday, June 29, for the launch of its 15th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Packed with more than 5,900 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.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict a 90 percent chance of favorable weather at launch time. Cumulus and anvil clouds are the primary weather concerns.

Coverage of the SpaceX CRS-15 mission starts today with prelaunch events on NASA Television and at www.nasa.gov/live.

  • 11 a.m.: What’s on Board science briefing highlighting the mission’s research
  • 12:45 p.m.: Prelaunch news conference with representatives from NASA’s ISS Program, SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing

Follow the countdown starting at 5:15 a.m. Friday on NASA Television, www.nasa.gov/live and on NASA’s SpaceX Launch Blog.

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.

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.