What’s Flying on Dragon?

The Dragon spacecraft is set to deliver more than 5,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station on CRS-5. Food, supplies and care packages for the station crew are on board, along with spacewalk equipment, Russian hardware and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency equipment, and vehicle hardware supporting several critical station systems, including the electrical power system and the Environmental Control and Life Support system.

Dragon also is carrying critical materials to support 256 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 42 and 43. Studies conducted at the station benefit people on Earth as well as future explorers embarking on long-duration missions. During a briefing early last week at Kennedy Space Center, scientists and researchers discussed the studies headed for the station on this flight, such as research on the risks of in-flight infections in astronauts, as well as research on degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. View the briefing here:

Countdown in Progress for Falcon 9 Liftoff

spacex-launch-1Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the countdown to the SpaceX CRS-5 launch, scheduled for an instantaneous window at 4:47 a.m. EST. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are going through their final prelaunch paces at Space Launch Complex 40 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As noted earlier, forecasters with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron have improved tonight’s weather prediction to 90 percent “go.”

On this flight, the fifth in a series of cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station, Dragon is carrying science experiments, technology demonstrations and supplies for the station crew. It will be the sixth time a Dragon spacecraft has visited the orbiting laboratory.

Forecast Remains Favorable for Saturday; Launch Viewing Options

Today is L-1 — that’s NASA-speak for “one day before launch.” The latest launch weather forecast, issued just this morning, continues to predict an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions for the liftoff of SpaceX CRS-5 at 4:47 a.m. EST tomorrow, Jan. 10. Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron expect launch-time temperatures to be in the low 50s F, with the possibility of thick clouds posing the main concern.CRS5_Late_Load_4

If you’re in the area and would like to try to watch the launch in person, we’ve pulled together a list of local viewing locations.

Remember, you can join us right here on the blog for live updates from the countdown. Coverage begins at at 3:30 a.m. EST.

Weather Forecast 80 Percent ‘Go’ for Saturday

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.

Next SpaceX Launch Attempt Saturday, Jan. 10

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.

Weather Forecast 90 Percent ‘Go’ for Next Launch Opportunity

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.

SpaceX to Determine Next Launch Opportunity

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.