Space

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 http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

For up-to-date SpaceX mission information and a schedule of NASA TV coverage, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

 




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