SpaceX to launch, land at Cape Canaveral

14 December, 2017, 03:17 | Author: Darnell Patrick
  • ZUMA MISSION | SpaceX

If the launch is successful, the Dragon capsule will meet the space station early Saturday morning, with live NASA coverage of its installation beginning at 7:30 ET.

CEO Elon Musk hasn't tweeted about the delay yet, and the company has not yet responded to a Gizmodo request for comment.

Once again the SpaceX Rocket launch has been postponed, this time to Friday. The spacecraft won't launch before Friday, Dec. 13 as extra inspections need to be performed, and cleaning after engineers found particles located in the booster's second-stage fuel system.

That launch complex, which had been hosting all SpaceX launches this year while Space Launch Complex 40 is being repaired, will now host Falcon Heavy and commercial crew missions.

"We're very comfortable that the risk posture on this vehicle is not significantly greater than a new booster", Kirk Shireman, NASA ISS program manager, said at a pre-launch press conference December 11.

The resupply mission will send the Dragon spacecraft with 4,800 pounds of cargo including science research to the International Space Station.

A Tuesday attempt was delayed "to allow for additional time for pre-launch ground systems checks", SpaceX said late Monday.


A successful launch on Wednesday will also return Launch Complex 40 to operational status, which was heavily damaged in a September 2016 Falcon 9 explosion.

Teams were targeting 11:24 a.m. Wednesday for a liftoff from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with supplies, cargo and science experiments for the orbiting outpost.

The Dragon CRS-13 capsule making this flight is the same capsule that flew as CRS-6, which launched to the ISS back on April 14, 2015.

The Dragon spacecraft will be packed with almost 4,900 pounds of supplies and dozens of science experiments for the crew, including at least one study with ties to Florida - Made In Space Fiber Optics, which will analyze fiber optic filaments in microgravity and could lead to improved optical quality.

The fresh residents, led by Soyuz commander Anton Shkaplerov, will fly to the station inside the Russian Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft. Since the incident, SpaceX had moved its launches to Pad 39A, which is where the Apollo missions to the Moon had blasted off.

Travelling to the ISS in the "trunk" of the Dragon capsule are two new instruments for the space station.

"For the remainder of the current CRS contract, we are planning to continue to just use refurbished Dragons", Jensen said.

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