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.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Set to Launch Dragon Spacecraft to the International Space Station

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft on pad 40 at CCAFS.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

Good morning from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 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 10:36 a.m. EST today, with an instantaneous launch window. This is SpaceX’s first launch from Pad 40 in 2017. The Falcon 9 rocket went vertical this morning and weather is 90 percent favorable for launch.

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.

SpaceX Falcon and Dragon Poised for Launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft on pad 40 at CCAFS.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft stand ready for launch on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

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.

Read more about the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft.

Launch Day Arrives for SpaceX CRS-13

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft are on Space Launch Complex 40 at CCAFS in Florida.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft is on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA

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.

Launch Weather 90 Percent ‘Go’ on Friday

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting a 90 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft. Launch of the company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for NASA is targeted for no earlier than Friday, Dec. 15 at 10:36 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. On launch day, the primary weather concern is for thick clouds.

SpaceX CRS-13 Update: Launch No Earlier Than Dec. 15

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than 10:36 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 15, for the company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX is taking additional time for the team to conduct full inspections and cleanings due to detection of particles in the second stage fuel system. The next launch opportunity would be no earlier than late December.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff on Friday.

A Dragon spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Dragon is now scheduled to arrive at the space station on Sunday, Dec. 17.

On Sunday, Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are also scheduled to launch at 2:21 a.m. (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station.

NASA Television coverage for launch and arrival activities are as follows:

Friday, Dec. 15

  • 10 a.m. – Launch commentary coverage begins
  • 12 p.m. – Post-launch news conference with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX

Sunday, Dec. 17

  • 1:15 a.m. – Soyuz MS-07 launch coverage begins
  • 4:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous at the space station and capture coverage begins
  • 7:30 a.m. – Installation coverage begins

Watch live on NASA Television and the agency’s website: www.nasa.gov/live.

Launch No Earlier Than Dec. 13

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than 11:24 a.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 13th, for the company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX requested additional time for prelaunch ground systems checks.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting 90 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff.

A Dragon spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Dragon is now scheduled to arrive at the space station on Saturday, Dec. 16.

NASA Television coverage for launch is as follows:

Wednesday, Dec. 13

  • 10:45 a.m. – Launch commentary coverage begins
  • 12:30 p.m. – Post-launch news conference with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX

Saturday, Dec. 16

  • 4:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous at the space station and capture
  • 7:30 a.m. – Installation coverage

Join us here, on NASA Television or at www.nasa.gov/live for updates from the countdown.

L-1 Day Briefings Scheduled for SpaceX CRS-13

Today marks “L-1” – launch minus one day – for tomorrow’s scheduled launch of SpaceX’s 13th commercial resupply to the International Space Station. Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is planned for 11:46 a.m. EST Tuesday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting a 90 percent chance of favorable weather at launch time, with liftoff winds the primary concern.

Mission coverage begins today with two news briefings. Both will be broadcast on NASA Television.

Live coverage from the countdown begins Tuesday morning at 11:15 a.m. here on NASA’s Launch Blog and on NASA Television.

SpaceX CRS-13 Launch Set For No Earlier Than Dec. 12

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 Television to Air Launch of Next Space Station Resupply Mission

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.

For a full rundown of SpaceX CRS-13 briefings and events, visit https://www.nasa.gov/content/spacex-crs-13-briefings-and-events.