Climate may forestall launch of SpaceX cargo mission at the moment – Spaceflight Now


Reside protection of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Advanced 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle in Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch SpaceX’s twenty sixth resupply mission to the Worldwide Area Station. Comply with us on Twitter.

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SpaceX is dealing with slim odds that climate might be acceptable for launch of a Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday carrying a Dragon cargo ship on a resupply flight to the Worldwide Area Station.

The twenty sixth SpaceX cargo mission to the house station, referred to as CRS-26, will ship about 7,700 kilos (3.5 metric tons) of provides, experiments, and {hardware} to the complicated. However there’s only a 10% probability of excellent climate at Kennedy Area Middle for an instantaneous launch alternative at 3:54:06 p.m. EST (2054:06 GMT).

The first climate issues are with cloud cowl and rain showers transferring throughout Central Florida. As a result of Dragon spacecraft has a warmth protect to guard it throughout re-entry on the finish of the mission, the mission can’t launch throughout a rain bathe as a result of water droplets may harm the capsule’s thermal safety system.

If the mission doesn’t get off the bottom Tuesday, the following launch alternative is scheduled for no sooner than 2:20 p.m. EST (1920 GMT) Saturday. SpaceX won’t be able to launch the cargo mission across the Thanksgiving vacation, a interval of busy journey in the US, as a result of the Federal Aviation Administration needs to make sure airspace is obvious for industrial airline site visitors.

Assuming the Dragon capsule takes off Tuesday, it can dock with the Concord module on the Worldwide Area Station at 5:57 a.m. EST (1057 GMT) Wednesday. Astronauts on the house station will open hatches and start unpacking cargo contained in the pressurized compartment of the Dragon spacecraft.

When it lifts off, the Falcon 9 rocket will head downrange northeast from Kennedy, powered by 9 Merlin engines producing 1.7 million kilos of thrust. The rocket will shut down its first stage booster about two-and-a-half minutes into the mission, permitting the booster to descend to touchdown on a drone ship about 186 miles (300 kilometers) downrange within the Atlantic Ocean about seven-and-a-half minutes after liftoff.

The booster, tail quantity B1076, is making its first flight to house on the CRS-26 mission. The Dragon capsule, additionally model new, will deploy from the Falcon 9’s higher stage about 12 minutes after liftoff to start the journey to the Worldwide Area Station.

Stationed inside a firing room at a launch management heart at Kennedy, SpaceX’s launch crew will start loading super-chilled, densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 car at T-minus 35 minutes.

Helium pressurant may even movement into the rocket within the final half-hour of the countdown. Within the last seven minutes earlier than liftoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin most important engines might be thermally conditioned for flight via a process often called “chilldown.” The Falcon 9’s steerage and vary security techniques may even be configured for launch.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Cargo Dragon capsule on pad 39A at Kennedy Area Middle. Credit score: SpaceX

After docking of the brand new cargo capsule, astronauts on the house station will open hatches and unpack provides, experiments and different tools stowed contained in the Dragon spacecraft’s pressurized compartment. On the finish of the mission, the reusable capsule will undock from the station and head for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida in early January with a number of tons of cargo.

The payloads on-board the Dragon capsule embrace two new ISS Roll-Out Photo voltaic Arrays, or iROSA models, to improve the house station’s energy system. Astronauts on the station will enterprise outdoors the complicated subsequent week to assist set up and deploy the brand new roll-out arrays, which can increase energy produced by the station’s unique photo voltaic arrays. The present photo voltaic array wings launched on house shuttle missions between 2000 and 2009.

The photo voltaic arrays are rolled up on spools like yoga mats throughout launch. The house station’s robotic arm will take away the spools from their mounting posts contained in the Dragon spacecraft’s rear cargo bay and transfer them to attachment factors on the lab’s left-side and right-side solar energy truss.

The roll-out photo voltaic panels will confide in partially cowl the present arrays. This pair of iROSA models follows the launch of the primary two in 2021. The ultimate two roll-out photo voltaic arrays are scheduled to launch on a SpaceX resupply mission subsequent yr.

Different cargo on the CRS-26 mission consists of experiments to check the expansion of dwarf tomatoes on the house station, a conveyable hand-held microscope that can assist astronauts acquire medical imagery of their very own blood samples, and a expertise demonstration to assemble information on the development of versatile constructions in house.

Learn extra particulars in our mission preview story.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1076.1)

PAYLOAD: Cargo Dragon (CRS-26)

LAUNCH SITE: LC-39A, Kennedy Area Middle, Florida

LAUNCH DATE: Nov. 22, 2022

LAUNCH TIME: 3:54:06 p.m. EST (2054:06 GMT)

WEATHER FORECAST: 10% probability of acceptable climate; Low threat of higher degree winds; Low threat of unfavorable situations for booster restoration

BOOSTER RECOVERY: “Simply Learn the Directions” drone ship east of Jacksonville, Florida


TARGET ORBIT: 118 miles by 130 miles (190 kilometers by 210 kilometers), 51.6 levels inclination


  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Most aerodynamic stress (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage most important engine cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:30: Stage separation
  • T+02:38: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:42: First stage enhance again burn ignition (three engines)
  • T+03:15: First stage enhance again burn cutoff
  • T+05:45: First stage entry burn ignition (three engines)
  • T+05:59: First stage entry burn cutoff
  • T+07:06: First stage touchdown burn ignition (one engine)
  • T+07:33: First stage touchdown
  • T+08:37: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 1)
  • T+11:49: Cargo Dragon separation


  • 186th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 195th launch of Falcon rocket household since 2006
  • 1st launch of Falcon 9 booster B1076
  • 1st flight of Dragon capsule C211
  • 159th Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Area Coast
  • 57th SpaceX launch from pad 39A
  • 151st launch total from pad 39A
  • sixth launch of an upgraded Cargo Dragon car
  • twenty sixth SpaceX cargo mission to the Worldwide Area Station
  • 52nd Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • 53rd launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • 51st orbital launch try based mostly out of Cape Canaveral in 2022

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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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