April 17, 2012

NASA/SpaceX launch, mission to space station slated

Following the completion of NASA’s flight readiness review, the second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program is scheduled for April 30.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 12:22 p.m., EDT.

NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral will begin at 11 a.m.

During the flight, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station. The primary objectives for the flight include a flyby of the ISS at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach. The spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous. After these capabilities are successfully proven, the Dragon will be cleared to berth with the ISS.


NASA TV launch, mission coverage

April 30: NASA TV live coverage begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at approximately 1 p.m.

May 1: An update on the Dragon’s flight during the daily “ISS Update” program from NASA’s Johnson Space Center airs at 11 a.m.

May 2: Live coverage from NASA’s Johnson Space Center mission control in Houston as the Dragon spacecraft performs its fly-under of ISS to test its systems begins at 2:30 a.m. and will continue until the Dragon passes out of the vicinity of the station. A news briefing will be held following the activities.

May 3: Live coverage of the rendezvous and berthing of the Dragon spacecraft to the station begins at 2 a.m. and will continue through the capture and berthing of the Dragon to the station’s Harmony node. A news briefing will be held once Dragon is secured to the ISS.

May 4: Live coverage of the hatch opening and entry of the Dragon spacecraft includes a ceremony during which the ISS crew will mark the occasion.

May 20: A news briefing at Johnson will preview the following day’s unberthing and splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft.

May 21: Live coverage of the unberthing, re-entry and splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean. Specific times of coverage will be provided at a later date.


For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit

For up-to-date SpaceX mission information and a schedule of NASA TV coverage, visit


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Report calls NASA essential for national security

Maintaining and advancing an international leadership role in space is an essential component of national security for the United States, according to a new report published by TASC, Inc. The report details ways in which NASA can strengthen the country’s national space security posture, foster international collaboration and benefit the economy, even during times of...

Aerojet SEP study demonstrates affordability enhancement for NASA exploration

Aerojet, a GenCorp company, completed a Solar Electric Propulsion mission concept study for NASA Glenn Research Center that demonstrated the ability to reduce the mission cost for NASA Human Exploration cargo missions by more than 50 percent through the use of existing flight-proven SEP systems. Self-funded under a collaborative Space Act Agreement, Aerojet’s SEP mission...

Independently sponsored space telescope to be launched to the Moon

The International Lunar Observatory Association, led by American businessman/educator Steve Durst, plans to place an astronomical observatory on the Moon to capture never before seen images of the galaxy, stars, Moon and Earth and broadcast them in support of the worldwide Galaxy Forum 21st Century Education program. A ‘Global Demonstration’ of the International Lunar Observatory...


Aeroshell to protect Mars Science Laboratory on descent

Lockheed Martin photograph The MSL aeroshell is a capsule comprised of two parts; the back shell and the heat shield. Prior to installation of the thermal protection system on both parts, the aeroshell structure went through st...

NASA selects contract for water, waste water revitalization

NASA has selected RTD Construction, Inc., of Zephyrhills, Fla., to provide construction services for the revitalization of Kennedy Space Center’s water distribution and waste water collection systems. The maximum potential value for the two-year fixed price contract is approximately $25.6 million. RTD Construction, Inc. will replace more than 125,000 feet of existing water mains and...
Image by NASA

NASA’s Space Launch System passes major agency review, moves to preliminary design

Image by NASA An artist rendering of the various configurations of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The flexible configuration, sharing the same basic core-...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>