For space program fans here (like me), a reminder of the upcoming launch of a Crew Dragon spacecraft (unmanned for this initial test mission) to the ISS:
Launch is planned for 0249 EST (as opposed to 0248 on the graphic) and will be live streamed by both SpaceX and by NASA.
Prelaunch events, the launch, and mission progress will also be broadcast on NASA Live
Note: There is a pre-launch briefing scheduled for 4 pm today (2 hrs 45 min from now) on NASA Live.
Currently, forecast weather is 80% likely to be favorable for launch.
Some awesome pics from earlier today of the Falcon 9 rocket rolling out of SpaceX’s Horizontal Integration Facility and on to Launch Complex 39A – the site previously used by the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.
[Source: NASA Flickr album]
EDIT: Added two new images of the Falcon 9 being moved to the vertical position in the evening.
The “astronaut” in this image from inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft is actually an “ATD” (for Anthropomorphic Test Dummy) packed with an array of sensors and wearing one of the spacesuit prototypes that future astronauts will wear on manned missions.
Engineers at SpaceX have given her a name
SUCCESS! Crew Dragon is now in orbit, and stage 1 was successfully recovered after landing on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You.” Docking with the ISS is planned for around 6 am EST tomorrow.
Hard capture confirmed! Crew Dragon is now attached to the ISS, and final docking procedures are underway. The crew are expected to open the hatch around 8 am EST, and they’ll finally be able to meet Ripley!
And the hatch is open! Two of the ISS crew have just entered Crew Dragon and are taking air samples. In about 30 minutes, as long as everything checks out, they’ll start fans to mix the atmospheres between Dragon and the ISS.
Great job, SpaceX and NASA!!!
BTW, here are astronauts currently aboard the ISS:
Oleg Kononenko (commander)
Crew Dragon had a smooth undocking from the ISS this morning (yes, I woke up early to watch it!) and has now moved well away from the station in order to prepare for deorbit and return to Earth later this morning.
The deorbit burn is scheduled to start at 0752 EST, and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean is expected around 0845 EST.
Live stream of Crew Dragon’s return starts in just a few minutes on NASA Live!
After successful completion of the deorbit burn, Crew Dragon is currently on a reentry trajectory and is approaching reentry interface! Communications blackout (due to the plasma generated during the first part of atmospheric reentry) expected in about 8 minutes!
Quick screen grab of the SpaceX recovery ship awaiting Crew Dragon’s splashdown about 200 nm off the Florida coast – so cool!
And there she is!!! (View from a NASA aircraft flying around the recovery zone.)
(From top to bottom: drogue parachute deployment, main parachute deployment, splashdown)
SPLASHDOWN! Precisely on schedule at 0845 EST – recovery of the Crew Dragon capsule now underway after what appears to have been a flawless mission! Bravo zulu, SpaceX and NASA!