SpaceX launches space station cargo mission – Spaceflight Now

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket will launch SpaceX’s 25th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Follow us Twitter.

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SpaceX’s 25th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station lifted off at 8:44 p.m. EDT Thursday (0044 GMT Friday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket launched a Dragon capsule toward the station, carrying nearly three tons of cargo.

Liftoff from platform 39A at Kennedy occurred at 8:44:22 p.m. EDT (0044:22 GMT), roughly the moment Earth’s rotation brings the launch site below the space station’s orbital plane.

There was a 70% chance of proper weather triggering Thursday, according to the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron. The main weather concerns were cumulus clouds that could create a danger for lightning, escaping through precipitation.

But the weather stopped Thursday to allow the Falcon 9 to take off from the Florida space coast.

After takeoff, Falcon 9 headed northeast of the Kennedy, powered by nine Merlin engines generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust. The missile shut down its first supporting stage about two and a half minutes into the mission, allowing the crane to land on the unmanned ship about 186 miles (300 kilometers) in the Atlantic Ocean about forty-seven. Half a minute after takeoff.

The booster, tail number B1067, made its fifth flight on the CRS-25 mission. It previously launched the CRS-22 cargo mission last June, launched two NASA crewed missions to the station, and carried Turkey’s communications satellite Turksat 5B into space.

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The Dragon spacecraft deployed from the upper stage of the Falcon 9 about 12 minutes after liftoff to begin a day-and-a-half journey to the International Space Station. The Dragon cargo capsule was launched on the CRS-25 mission on its third flight to the station.

Stationed inside a firing room at the Kennedy Launch Control Center, the SpaceX launch team began loading ultra-cold, condensed kerosene and liquid oxygen thrusters into the 215-foot (65-meter) Falcon 9 into the 35-minute T-minus.

Compressor helium also poured into the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. In the last seven minutes before takeoff, the Falcon 9 Merlin’s main engines were thermally adapted to fly by a procedure known as “chilldown”. The Falcon 9’s guidance and field safety systems are also configured for launch.

SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are launched on Platform 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the company’s 25th cargo mission to the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

With the launch on time Thursday evening, the Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to automatically dock at the space station’s Harmony module at 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT) on Saturday.

Astronauts on the space station will open the hatches and dismantle supplies, experiments, and other equipment stored inside the cabin of the pressurized Dragon capsule. At the end of the mission, the reusable capsule will detach from the station and head for a parachute-assisted landing off the coast of Florida in mid-August with several tons of cargo.

The cargo ship was launched with about 5,800 pounds of supplies and payloads, including a NASA climate instrument that will be installed outside the space station.

The Earth’s Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation Tool, or EMIT, was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be attached to a mounting base outside the space station to measure the mineral content of the world’s desert regions, the source of global dust storms that can affect climate and weather around the world.

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The data collected by the tool will help scientists learn more about how dust that moves into the atmosphere from deserts affects Earth’s ecosystems and human health.

“This is going to be a really busy mission for us,” said Dana Weigel, deputy program manager for NASA’s Space Station. “It is filled with a lot of science. The scheduled duration is about 33 days.”

The mission was originally scheduled to launch in early June, but SpaceX delayed the flight to resolve a vapor leak in the Dragon spacecraft’s propulsion system, and replace the capsule’s four main parachutes in a cautionary measure in case the sledding material deteriorates due to toxic fuel. a leak.

Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1067.5)

Payload: Cargo Dragon (CRS-25)

launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Lunch date: July 14, 2022

launch time: 8:44:22 PM EDT (0044:22 GMT on July 15))

weather forecast: 70% chance of acceptable weather; low risk of upper level winds; Reduced risk of conditions unfavorable to enhanced recovery

Recovery from reinforcement: Drone ship named “A Shortfall of Gravitas” east of Jacksonville, Florida

AZIMUTH LAUNCH: the Northeast

target orbit: 118 miles by 130 miles (190 kilometers by 210 kilometers), inclination 51.6 degrees

Launch timeline:

  • T+00:00: take off
  • T+01: 12: maximum air pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage main engine cut-off (MECO)
  • T+02:30: Separation of the stage
  • T+02:38: Ignition the engine in the second stage
  • T+02:43: 1st stage increases back burner ignition (three engines)
  • T+03:15: Phase 1 increases back burn cuts
  • T+05:45: ignition of burning entering the first stage (three engines)
  • T+05:59: First stage entry combustion cutoff
  • T+07:06: 1st stage combustion ignition (single engine)
  • T+07:33: First stage landing
  • T+08:37: Second stage engine cut-off (SECO 1)
  • T+11:49: Cargo Dragon chapter
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Job stats:

  • The 164th launch of the Falcon 9 since 2010
  • 172nd launch of the Falcon family since 2006
  • Fifth launch of Falcon 9 Booster B1067
  • Falcon 9 143 launched from Florida’s space coast
  • Launch of SpaceX 51 from platform 39A
  • 145th release overall from board 39A
  • Flight 106 of the reused Falcon 9 booster
  • Updated Cargo Dragon Fifth Edition
  • The 25th cargo mission from SpaceX to the International Space Station
  • Falcon 9 30 launch in 2022
  • 30th launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • The 30th orbital launch from Cape Canaveral in 2022

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