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Mission thread: SpaceX Dragon SPX-2 to ISS


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#1 DocM

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 20:27

Launch date: March 1, 2013 10:10AM Eastern

Mission: ISS resupply & experiment delivery

Falcon 9 v1.0 first stage arrival (last v1.0 flight before v1.1)
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Dragon - Trunk (unpressurized cargo) integration
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#2 OP DocM

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 00:59

This time Dragon launches in daylight on March 1, and it will bring back to Earth ~2x as much cargo as it takes up. No word yet as to if any more cheese, ice cream or fruit will be part of the upmass ;)

Hot-fire engines test is scheduled for Feb 22. Engines should run just long enough to reach full thrust - about 4 seconds.

This will be the last flight for Falcon 9 v1.0. Falcon 9 v1,1 takes over with its maiden flight scheduled for Jun 18 from the new SpaceX SLC-4E pad at Vandenberg AFB in California. F9 v1.1 is almost 50% more powerful and much taller; 227 ft vs this flights 157 ft. F9 v1.1 will also be the basis of the massive Falcon Heavy, which ships to Vandenberg AFB later this year.

MEDIA ADVISORY : M13-029

NASA Targets March 1 Launch for Next SpaceX Station Resupply Mission; Media Accreditation Open


HOUSTON -- NASA and its international partners are targeting Friday, March 1, as the launch date for the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

Launch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. EST (9:10 a.m. CST) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Media accreditation to view the launch is open. International media without U.S. citizenship must apply for credentials to cover the prelaunch and launch activities by noon on Monday, Feb. 18. For U.S. media, the deadline to apply is Monday, Feb. 25.

Questions about accreditation may be directed to Jennifer Horner at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468. All media accreditation requests must be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

NASA also is inviting 50 social media users to apply for credentials for the launch. Social media users selected to attend will be given the same access as journalists. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Registration for social media accreditation is open online. International social media users without U.S. citizenship must apply for credentials by 5 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 15, to qualify. For U.S. social media, the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 22. For more information about NASA social media accreditation requirements and to register, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/social

SpaceX's Dragon capsule will be filled with about 1,200 pounds of supplies for the space station crew and experiments being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory.

On March 2, Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn of NASA will use the station's robot arm to grapple Dragon following its rendezvous with the station. They will attach the Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module for a few weeks while astronauts unload cargo. They then will load experiment samples for return to Earth.

Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth March 25 for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California. It will be bringing back more than 2,300 pounds of experiment samples and equipment.

To follow the mission and for more information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station



#3 neoadorable

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:40

Thanks for the post Doc, these missions are great, and show that we have much to look forward to.

#4 OP DocM

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 20:27

That we do. With SLC-4E near completion at Vandenberg, the Falcons 9 v1.1 and Heavy all making appearances this year, and the MCT announcements, it looks to be fun :)

HOTFIRE!!

http://www.floridato...alcon-9-engines

SpaceX today appeared to complete a brief test-firing of a Falcon 9 rocket’s main engines, a key test in advance of Friday’s planned launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Around 1:30 p.m., a flash and smoke appeared beneath the 157-foot rocket at Launch Complex 40.

SpaceX did not immediately comment on the standard pre-launch test.

If it went as planned, the rocket’s nine first-stage Merlin engines were scheduled to fire for about three seconds with the rocket bolted to the launch pad.

The Falcon 9 is scheduled to blast off at 10:10 a.m. Friday with a Dragon cargo capsule bound for the International Space Station.

The mission is SpaceX’s second under a $1.6 billion NASA resupply contract.



#5 OP DocM

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:14


SpaceX PAO:

On Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM ET, SpaceX conducted a successful static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket, in advance of a targeted March mission to the International Space Station. The nine-engine test took place at the company's Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as part of a full launch dress rehearsal leading up to SpaceX CRS-2, the second official cargo resupply mission under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

During the static fire test today, SpaceX engineers ran through all countdown processes as though it were launch day. All nine engines fired at full power for two seconds, while the Falcon 9 was held down to the pad. SpaceX will now conduct a thorough review of all data and continue preparations for Friday's targeted launch.

The first launch opportunity for CRS-2 is currently scheduled for 10:10 AM ET on Friday, March 1.

#6 OP DocM

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 23:19

This link is to SpaceX's LiveStream channel for this mission. It's usually much more informative than NASA TV.

The show starts Friday March 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM EST. Launch is scheduled for 10:10 AM EST. Weather report says a 90% chance of good launch conditions.

Be there or be square ;)

http://new.livestrea.../events/1874414

#7 OP DocM

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 00:18

Video of the hotfire.

Interesting changes to the pad that reflect what's been built at Vandenberg. The hangar has been enlarged, the exhaust holes in the pad and flame trench are larger etc. Looks like they're making running changes so they can launch both Falcon 9 v1.1 and Falcon Heavy at SLC-40.



#8 OP DocM

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:30

SpaceX LC-40 changes. Zoomedfor pad details. Right frame from hotfire video.

They look like transitional upgrades on the way to mirroring the SpaceX SLC-4E pad at Vandenberg AFB.

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#9 OP DocM

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 23:41

Exciting day - unfortunately I was occupied & couldn't do timely updates.

The Falcon 9 v1.0 lifted off and delivered Dragon CRS-2 to orbit perfectly. Beautiful launch and on time for its instant launch window. This was the last F9 v1.0 to fly as F9 v1.1 takes over with the late June launch of a Canadian satellite from Vandenberg AFB in California.

Once Dragon was in orbit a problem arose; 3 of its 4 thruster packs were not functional. It appears the helium gas used to pressurize the thruster oxidizer tanks may have been contaminated, or the oxidizer itself froze in the check valves. Nevertheless, the problem was resolved by cycling the valve actuators, creating a hammer effect that freed the obstructions.

Dragon now has all 4 thruster packs working, the solar arrays are deployed and it has performed a burn to raise and circularize its orbit. ISS rendezvous likely Sunday instead of Saturday.

Safe to assume those valves, the helium tanks, lines & tank residuals will get an anal exam when Dragon returns to Earth.

#10 OP DocM

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:19

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#11 OP DocM

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 21:12

Dragon Rendezvous With Station Set for Sunday
Sat, 02 Mar 2013 02:49:57 PM EST

International Space Station Program and SpaceX managers Saturday gave the go-ahead for the SpaceX’s Dragon cargo vehicle to rendezvous with the station on Sunday, March 3.

The station’s Mission Management Team unanimously agreed that Dragon’s propulsion system is operating normally along with its other systems and ready to support the rendezvous two days after Friday’s launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Dragon is scheduled to be captured Sunday at 6:01 a.m. EST by NASA Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and NASA Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn. Once grappled, Dragon will be installed onto the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module by ground experts at mission control in Houston. The cargo vehicle will be bolted into place through commands by Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency.

The operation of time-critical scientific experiments being delivered to the station on Dragon will be reviewed during the course of berthed operations to ensure that all planned investigations are completed. Despite the one-day delay in Dragon’s arrival at the station, its unberthing, release and splashdown remain planned for Monday, March 25.

SpaceX officials reported to the multinational management team that all of Dragon’s systems are operating as planned in the wake of the temporary loss of three of four banks of thrusters after Dragon separated from the Falcon 9 rocket Friday. The time required to recover normal operation of all 18 Draco thrusters and verify their readiness caused the one-day delay.

SpaceX said it has high confidence there will be no repeat of the thruster problem during rendezvous, including its capability to perform an abort, should that be required.

NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and grapple on Sunday, March 3 will begin at 3:00 a.m. Eastern time. Coverage of berthing operations on NASA TV will begin at 7:30 a.m.

#12 OP DocM

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:50

Dragon has been captured by the ISS robotic arm & berthing in a few minutes. Hatch opens a few hours later.

#13 OP DocM

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 13:09

SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2013

Coming up next: Ground controllers in Canada will take control of the robot arm to align the Dragon spacecraft with the Earth-facing berthing port on the Harmony module.

This will mark the first time a visiting vehicle such as Dragon has been installed under control of the ground.

#14 OP DocM

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 14:47

First and second stage berthing completed.

Dragon's in the cave for 3 weeks.



#15 OP DocM

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 18:41

Hatch open, connections made, and the ISS crew has been given the coordinates of the SpaceX "care packages" (read: fresh fruits & veggies (apples, oranges, tomatoes etc & other treats.)

They were last seen digging through the racks like moles on meth ;)