Space

May 21, 2012

Dragon launch to space station scrubbed

by Raphael Jaffe
Staff Writer

Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, told a post-scrub press conference that the failure to launch Falcon9-Dragon to the International Space Station early May 19 was “aborted with purpose” and so not a failure.

Regardless, the next launch attempt has been postponed until at least May 22 at 3:44 a.m., EDT. May 23 provides another possible launch time.

All was nominal until 0.5 seconds before liftoff, but the software monitoring the health of the Falcon 9 systems detected higher than normal chamber pressure for engine 5 of the nine-engine launcher – and the trend was upward.

The launch was stopped, and the system started “detanking,” as planned. “We aborted with purpose. It would be a failure if we were to have lifted off with an engine trending in this direction,” Shotwell said.

“The software did what it was supposed to do” this was not a software problem, she added. She attributed the higher pressure to higher temperature in the chamber, as a result of low flow of one of the propellant fluids; but said the pre-valve did fully open.

Evidently, engine 5 also did show high pressure in the hot fire hold down test just completed.

SpaceX chief technical officer and founder Elon Musk, tweeted “Launch aborted: slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5. Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days.”

Shotwell pointed out that another Falcon 9 was on hand at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40. She said that if needed, engine 5 could be swapped out with the one on this booster, and also that a May 23 launch would be feasible.

Launch to the orbiting International Space Station is efficient only at a given moment.

This time is when the ISS orbit puts it over the launch location. These times comes separated by several days, and then at intervals usually of each 2 or 3 days. The ISS orbital track projections on the earth look like the elongated S curves visible on the displays shown in the ISS control room images. After May 23, the next launch time will be in early June.




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


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


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=""> <strike> <strong>