CRS-3onthepad

CRS-3 on the pad. landing Legs attached and ready credit: SpaceX

UPDATE:

CRS-3 Update

Today’s launch has been scrubbed due to a Helium leak on Falcon 9’s first stage. A fix will be implemented by the next launch opportunity on Friday April 18, though weather on that date isn’t ideal.

———————–

 

Watch Launch: www.nasa.gov/nasatv or spacex.com/webcast

Exciting First:  First Stage Recovery. Landing legs will be deployed and an attempt at a soft landing over ocean.

crs3-patch

UPDATE: Launch delayed to March 30th

“To ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance and allow additional time to resolve remaining open items, SpaceX is now targeting March 30th  for the CRS-3 launch, with April 2nd  as a back-up.  These represent the earliest available launch opportunities given existing schedules, and are currently pending approval with the Range.  

Both Falcon 9 and Dragon are in good health; given the critical payloads on board and significant upgrades to Dragon, the additional time will ensure SpaceX does everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch.  “

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Mission Overview:
After three successful missions to the International Space Station,
including two official resupply missions for NASA, SpaceX is set to
launch its third Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission to the orbiting
lab. The SpaceX CRS-3 mission is targeting launch at 4:41 a.m. EDT
Sunday, March 16 from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station, Florida.

If all goes as planned, Dragon will arrive at the station on
Tuesday, March 18, when it will be grappled and berthed to the
complex for an expected four-week visit. Dragon is scheduled to
return to Earth on April 17 for a parachute-assisted splashdown
off the coast of southern California. Dragon is the only space
station cargo craft capable of returning a significant amount of
supplies back to Earth, including experiments.

Cargo Contents:

Dragon will be filled with about 4,600 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to support more than
150 investigations that will occur during Expeditions 39 and 40. Dragon will carry four powered cargo payloads in its
pressurized section and two in its unpressurized trunk, a first for SpaceX. Dragon will return with about 3,600 pounds of
cargo, which includes crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, biotechnology, and space
station hardware.
Falcon 9 will deliver five CubeSats to orbit as part of the CRS-3 mission, contained in four Poly Picosatellite
Orbital Deployers (P-PODs).

Exciting Highlights:

Falcon has Legs!!!

more info here and here

photo credit: SpaceX

photo credit: SpaceX

LINKS:
SpaceX Stats Page
spacex.com
twitter.com/elonmusk

The launch will be webcast live, with commentary from SpaceX corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, at

spacex.com/webcast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Press Kit can be found here

 

F9-legs-installed

Everyone is talking about a few photos snapped of a Falcon 9 with landing legs at the McGregor testing facility. No not the Grasshopper. Well perhaps Grasshopper 2 or 1.1 or even F9R. See the comparison to Grasshopper below.

grasshopper2

new snapshot shown beside the Grasshopper for comparison

hover2_base_processed

photo credit: Jim Howard

F9 Sprouts Legs (click to enlarge)

F9 Sprouts Legs (click to enlarge)

These are the legs we saw on the floor at the SpaceX facility last year

click to enlarge - image tweeted by Elon Musk

click to enlarge – image tweeted by May 2013 Elon Musk

These are the retractable/extendable legs.

Will an upcoming flight sport the new legs?
Hopefully we will here more from SpaceX on this soon. Stay tuned.

 

Here is the latest 2014 Launch Manifest for SpaceX

YEAR* CUSTOMER LAUNCH VEHICLE
2014
2014 ORBCOMM CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 NASA RESUPPLY TO ISS – FLIGHT 3 CAPE CANAVERAL
&

FALCON 9

2014 ORBCOMM CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 FALCON HEAVY DEMO FLIGHT VANDENBERG
2014 ASIASAT CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 ASIASAT CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 NASA RESUPPLY TO ISS – FLIGHT 4 CAPE CANAVERAL
&

FALCON 9

2014 NASA RESUPPLY TO ISS – FLIGHT 5 CAPE CANAVERAL
&

FALCON 9

2014 NASA RESUPPLY TO ISS – FLIGHT 6 CAPE CANAVERAL
&

FALCON 9

2014 SPACE SYSTEMS/LORAL CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 THALES ALENIA SPACE (TURKMENISTAN) CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 DSCOVR (USAF) CAPE CANAVERAL
2014 CONAE (ARGENTINA) VANDENBERG
2014 ASIA BROADCAST SATELLITE/SATMEX CAPE CANAVERAL

more here

At 5:41 pm ET today the Falcon 9 1.1 roared ( and I do mean roared) into the sky carrying the SES 8 Commercial TV satellite into orbit. The flight was quite spectacular. The separation of the 1st stage was followed by second stage ignition and then re-ignition and controlled return fire of the first stage.  This was quite visible in the broadcast video of the event. It will be interesting to hear how the recovery of the first stage went.

jump here for the separation and re-ignition as the first stage falls away (moves out of sight in video at 3:33)

UPDATE:  Great view taken by someone in Orlando – great video of 1st stage firing control jets after separation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muWftxDkl8g

Latest and highest flight from point of view of the Hexacopter

 

Cassiope Patch

Cassiope Patch

Launch window: 1600-1800 GMT (12-2 p.m. EDT; 9-11 a.m. PDT)
Launch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Next Generation Falcon 9 with fairing image: SpaceX 9-9-13

Next Generation Falcon 9 with fairing image: SpaceX 9-9-13

Great photo!

Elon Musk tweeted this picture last night with the caption: “First of next gen Falcon 9 rockets rolls out to the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force”

he also tweeted this caution:

“Upcoming Falcon 9 demo has a lot of new technology, so the probability of failure is significant”

Current Launch window: September 15th 1600-1800 GMT (12-2 p.m. EDT; 9-11 a.m. PDT)
carrying the Cassiope satellite for the Canadian Space Agency

 Latest Tweet by Elon Musk:

“Full thrust achieved on 2 sec static fire,” – “Some anomalies to be investigated, so launch date tbd [to be determined].”

F9 on pad for static fire

F9 on pad for static fire

SpaceX Grasshopper showed us yesterday that it also has lateral movement. Watch this August 13th test :

New video released by SpaceX promoting Falcon 9

Watching the Video you get a view of the new landing leg configuration that we first mentioned here.

F9 Sprouts Legs (click to enlarge)

F9 Sprouts Legs (click to enlarge)

SpaceX has also released a new version of its website

Single Camera (Hexacopter) view and new navigational sensors

Image credit: SpaceX

Image credit: SpaceX

em-tweet

Press Release from Spaceport America:

Governor Susana Martinez today announced that Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, has signed a three-year agreement to lease land and facilities at Spaceport America to conduct the next phase of flight testing for its reusable rocket program. The company will be a new tenant at Spaceport America, the state-owned commercial launch site located in southern New Mexico.

“I am thrilled that SpaceX has chosen to make New Mexico its home, bringing their revolutionary “Grasshopper” rocket and new jobs with them,” Governor Martinez said today. “We’ve done a lot of work to level the playing field so we can compete in the space industry. This is just the first step in broadening the base out at the Spaceport and securing even more tenants. I’m proud to welcome SpaceX to New Mexico.”

READ the entire Release here

 

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