Space

October 18, 2012

ISS commercial supply by SpaceX successful but secondary payload lost

Looking down on Dragon, docked to the International Space Station.

Falcon 9 launched the CRS-1 mission to the International Space Station right on time at 8:35 p.m., EDT, Oct. 7 – the first planned launch opportunity.

The Dragon spacecraft reached the space station a bit early and was grappled by Canadarm at 6:56 a.m., EDT, Oct. 10, and birthed at 9:03 a.m.

Expedition 33 crewmembers Akihiko Hoshide and Sunita Williams grappled Dragon and attached it to the station, completing a critical stage of the SpaceX CRS-1 cargo resupply mission.

Hoshide used the station’s robotic arm to capture Dragon and guide it to the station’s Harmony module, and then Williams, Expedition 33 commander, installed Dragon to Harmony’s common berthing mechanism, enabling it to be bolted in place for the expected 18-day stay at the station.

“Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon,” said Williams upon capture.

The next steps were performed by Williams, Hoshide and Yuri Malenohenko a day early. The station crew pressurized the vestibule between the station and Dragon and opened the hatch that leads to the forward bulkhead of the Dragon. The usual safety checks were performed and then the crew began unloading Dragon’s cargo, which includes crew supplies, vehicle hardware, experiments, and an ultra-cold freezer for storing scientific samples.

The upload cargo weight is 884 pounds or 1,001 pounds after packaging. It includes crew supplies; instruments and experiments for the U.S. National Laboratory as the station volume dedicated to research is now known; NASA supplies; and supplies for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency Module. As the ultra cold freezer had to operate during transport to bring up science samples at minus 300 degrees, it was easy to take along Blue Bell vanilla with swirled chocolate sauce ice cream cups, as a treat for the astronauts.

This shows Dragon docked to the International Space Station, with the Canadarm manipulator in neutral position in the foreground.

The launch was not flawless. Approximately one minute and 19 seconds into flight, the Falcon 9 rocket detected an anomaly on one first stage engine. Engine 1 lost pressure suddenly and an engine shutdown command was issued. Panels designed to relieve pressure within the engine bay were ejected to protect the stage and other engines. SpaceX continues its review of flight data, which indicates that neither the rocket stage nor any of the other eight engines were negatively affected by this event.

As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in real time to ensure Dragon’s entry into orbit for subsequent rendezvous and berthing with the station. This was achieved, and there was no effect on Dragon or the cargo resupply mission. Falcon 9 did exactly what it was designed to do. Like the Saturn V (which experienced engine loss on two flights) and modern airliners, Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine out situation and still complete its mission. No other rocket currently flying has this ability. It is worth noting that Falcon 9 shuts down two of its engines to limit acceleration to 5 g’s even on a fully nominal flight. The rocket could therefore have lost another engine and still completed its mission.

An experimental communications satellite flying piggyback on this mission did not reach its intended orbit. Orbitcomm’s OG2 satellite was a prototype for a new 17-member communications satellite network set to be launched aboard two more Falcon 9 rockets in 2013 and 2014.

The satellite reentered the atmosphere and burned up after a few days. It was declared a total loss and Orbitcomm filed a claim under an insurance policy worth up to $10 million, “which would largely offset the expected cost of the OG2 prototype and associated launch services and launch insurance,” the company said in a statement.

SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract from NASA which includes an additional 11 cargo flights to the space station.

“This is a big moment in the course of this mission and for commercial spaceflight,” said SpaceX CEO and Chief Technical Officer Elon Musk. “We are pleased that Dragon is now ready to deliver its cargo to the International Space Station.”

 




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>