SpaceX Falcon 9 Set To Liftoff From Kennedy Space Center
SpaceX will try again this afternoon to launch a mission to the Internantional Space Station.
The launch was originally supposed to occur on Thursday, but those plans were aborted due to a lightning storm.
This time it wasn’t a Falcon 9 rocket conquering Earth’s gravity well for a second time, but a Dragon cargo craft filled with almost three tons of supplies and science experiments headed for the International Space Station.
SpaceX now leases the pad from NASA; the company’s first launch from there was in February.
This time around the capsule was loaded up with roughly 6,000 pounds of supplies and equipment, including experiments to study the cardiovascular systems of fruit flies in low gravity and bone loss in mice aboard the ISS. This was the 100th launch from 39A, the launch site of the Apollo moon missions as well as NASA’s last shuttle.
The spacecraft is filled with nearly 6,000 pounds of supplies and payloads, and is the 11th of up to 20 missions to the ISS. Just two months ago, SpaceX launched its first recycled booster on a satellite mission. The spacecraft is slated to rendezvous with the station on Monday.
Other parts of Dragon’s payload will help demonstrate new solar panels and help scientists explore the physics of neutron stars, according to a release from NASA. There were so many X-rays and inspections that savings, if any, were minimal this time, said Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reliability for SpaceX. It’s all part of the company’s long-term effort to save time and money through reusability. This is the company’s 11th mission under a NASA contract.
Live coverage of the launch can be viewed on SpaceX’s a href=”http://www.spacex.com/webcast” website /a . a href=”https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public” NASA TV /a also broadcast the event live and has a recording available for viewing online.
The Dragon is now the fourth orbital-class spacecraft to be reused.
From there, flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston will take over, operating the arm by remote control to pull the capsule in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the station’s forward Harmony module. The company successfully re-used one of them during a March flight. The landing was pretty text-book from all appearances, with the rocket touching down without issue at SpaceX’s LZ-1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force base.