Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron are monitoring conditions in the launch area. The current weather prediction is 90 percent “go” at launch time.
Hello and good afternoon from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It’s a beautiful, sunny day on the space coast. 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 1:16 p.m. EST today, with an instantaneous launch window.
The Falcon 9 rocket went vertical this morning and weather is 90 percent favorable at launch time. Dragon’s internal countdown is running and propellant loading is underway.
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.
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.
The rocket awaiting launch this afternoon is the SpaceX Falcon 9, a two-stage vehicle topped by the company’s uncrewed Dragon spacecraft. The Falcon 9 first stage, a new booster for this mission, 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, last used for SpaceX CRS-10 in February 2017, 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 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.
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.
NASA and SpaceX are now targeting Wednesday, Dec. 5 for launch of the 16th SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch was moved to Wednesday after mold was found on food bars for a rodent investigation prior to handover to SpaceX. Teams will use the extra day to replace the food bars. The launch time for Wednesday is 1:16 p.m. EST.
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.
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
Commercial Resupply Services Mission: SpaceX CRS-16
Launch: 1:38 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018
Lift Off: Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
Launch Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9, 230 feet-tall
Spacecraft: Dragon, 20 feet high, 12 feet-in diameter
Payload: Dragon will deliver supplies and payloads, including materials to directly support dozens of the science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 57 and 58.
Return to Earth: After about one month attached to the space station, Dragon will return with results of earlier experiments, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Payloads on Board: Includes the Robotic Refueling Mission 3, or RRM3, and the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation lidar, or GEDI.
For countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: