This week SpaceX is planning on launching their next Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, this time it will be an uncrewed cargo resupply of food, equipment, and new science experiments.
Date: Thursday, June 3rd, 1:29 p.m. EDT
Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9 (B1067-1)
Capsule: Dragon 2 Cargo (C209-1)
Launch Pad: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Destination: International Space Station, Low Earth Orbit
Landing Site: Of Course I Still Love You, Atlantic Ocean
SpaceX’s Dragon 2 capsule was developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program as an upgraded crewed version of the original Dragon capsule. The Dragon 1 capsule served reliably for SpaceX and NASA and visited the ISS 20 times.
The improved Dragon 2 variant allows SpaceX to autonomously dock with one of the ISS’s two IDA, International Docking Adapter, ports. These ports, named IDA-2 and IDA-3 (IDA-1 was lost in the CRS-7 anomaly) are on the Harmony module with IDA-2 currently being taken by Dragon Endeavour. That means C209-1 will be the first arriving Dragon to arrive at IDA-3 rather than the normal IDA-2.
Like all Dragon flights before it, CRS-22 will be launching on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX’s workhorse rocket. The Falcon 9 gets its name from the 9 Merlin engines it uses on its reusable first stage to lift the payload through the majority of the atmosphere. After the first stage is finished, the second stage and its single vacuum optimized Merlin take over to carry the Dragon spacecraft to orbit.
In total, the Falcon 9 has launched 119 times with one failure in flight and one in preflight tests giving SpaceX a 98% success rate. Last week we celebrated SpaceX’s 100th consecutive successful launch with another Starlink satellite. The Falcon 9 rocket has proven to become one of the most reliable rockets in the industry.
SpaceX launch weather
Weather on the Space Coast has deteriorated more since yesterday’s report. Delta 45 now shows only a 60% chance of good weather for launch on both the primary and backup launch days. While there is a low risk for any additional criteria, which is usually the concern. The current concerns will be cumulus clouds and rain showers coming onshore tomorrow afternoon.
As summer approaches, we will see more and more unstable weather systems in the Florida area. This will make launches harder to plan as the weather is unpredictable in Florida. Many times SpaceX will continue with the count down to just a few minutes or seconds before calling the launch off due to weather.
1:41 p.m. EDT: SpaceX’s cargo Dragon spacecraft has separated from the second stage.
1:39 p.m. EDT: SECO: Second engine cut-off, The second stage has sent the CRS-22 Dragon capsule into a good orbit.
1:37 p.m. EDT: The brand new Falcon 9 booster has successfully landed on Of Course I Still Love You!
1:37 p.m. EDT: Stage 1 landing burn!
1:37 p.m. EDT: Stage 1 is transsonic.
1:36 p.m. EDT: The Falcon 9 first stage has completed a good reentry burn to slow it down enough to survive reentry of Earth’s atmosphere.
1:33 p.m. EDT: The first stage completed its boostback burn and begin reentry.
1:32 p.m. EDT: MECO: main engine cut-off on the Falcon 9 first stage, good stage separation confirmed, and second engine start-up.
1:30 p.m. EDT: The Falcon 9 has passed Max-Q, the maximum aerodynamic pressure on the rocket.
1:29 p.m. EDT: Liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 carrying NASA’s CRS-22 mission!
1:28 p.m. EDT: CRS-22 is GO for launch!
1:28 p.m. EDT: Stage 2 liquid oxygen is complete, no more propellent loading is needed for flight.
1:27 p.m. EDT: The first stage liquid oxygen loading is now complete.
1:25 p.m. EDT: The strong back, the structure that supports the rocket during the countdown, is beginning its initial retract.
1:25 p.m. EDT: Dragon and the Falcon 9 are in internal power and preparing for terminal count.
1:24 p.m. EDT: T-5 min till liftoff, fueling is finishing up, weather is still trending the right direction.
1:11 p.m. EDT: NASA has stated weather is trending in the right direction for launch today.
1:00 p.m. EDT: SpaceX and NASA’s live coverage of CRS-22 is now love!
12:56 p.m. EDT: SpaceX is GO to load RP-1, high-grade kerosine, and liquid oxygen into the rocket’s fuel tanks.
12:50 p.m. EDT: T-40 minutes till liftoff of CRS-22, skies still look clear and we are steady at 60% chance of weather being GO for launch.
12:39 p.m. EDT: SpaceX’s live mission control audio stream is now live on their YouTube page.
12:30 p.m. EDT: We are T-1 hour away from liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX’s live stream will begin in approximately 30 min.
12:25 p.m. EDT: Hello from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Press Site where we are covering the launch of SpaceX’s CRS-22 mission from LC-39A. Currently, we are still tracking weather concerns for the Space Coast but the weather right now is clear and ready for launch.
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