SpaceX is counting down to launch its space station cargo mission – Spaceflight Now

Live streaming of the countdown and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket will carry out SpaceX’s 25th resupply mission to the International Space Station. follow us twitter.

SFN Live

SpaceX’s 25th cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station is set to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:44 p.m. EDT Thursday (0044 GMT Friday). The Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon capsule with about three tons of cargo towards the station.

Liftoff from Pad 39A at Kennedy is set for 20:44:22 EDT (GMT), approximately the moment when Earth’s rotation brings the launch pad below the orbital plane of the space station.

According to the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Airlift Squadron, there is a 70% chance of favorable weather conditions for Thursday’s launch. The main weather concerns are cumulus clouds, which can pose a flight risk through lightning and precipitation.

After liftoff, the Falcon 9 will descend northeast of Florida’s Space Coast and be powered by nine Merlin engines generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust. The rocket will shut down the first stage booster about two and a half minutes into the mission, allowing the booster to descend to land on a drone ship at a landing distance of about 186 miles (300 kilometers) in the Atlantic Ocean. half a minute after rising.

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

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

SpaceX’s launch team, stationed in the firing room at the launch control center at Kennedy, will begin loading supercooled, compressed kerosene and liquid oxygen fuels into the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 vehicle in T-minus 35 minutes. .

Helium pressure will also flow to the rocket during the last half hour of the countdown. In the final seven minutes before liftoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin main engines will be thermally conditioned for flight through a procedure known as chilldown. Falcon 9’s guidance and range safety systems will also be configured for launch.

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

Assuming a timely launch Thursday night, the Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to automatically dock with the space station’s Harmony module at 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT) Saturday.

Astronauts aboard the space station will open hatches and unpack supplies, experiments and other equipment placed in the pressurized compartment of the Dragon capsule. At the end of the mission, the reusable capsule will leave the station and make a parachute jump off the coast of Florida in mid-August with several tons of cargo.

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

The Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation, or EMIT, instrument was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be attached to a mounting pole 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 worldwide.

The data collected by the instrument will help scientists study how dust blown into the atmosphere from deserts affects Earth’s ecosystems and human health.

“It’s going to be a really busy mission for us,” said Dana Weigel, NASA’s deputy space station program manager. “It’s full of science. The planned period is about 33 days.”

The mission was originally scheduled to launch in early June, but SpaceX delayed the flight to address a steam leak in the Dragon spacecraft’s propulsion system and replaced the capsule’s four main parachutes as a precaution in case the crater material was degraded by toxic fuel. leakage.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1067.5)

DOWNLOADING: Dragon Cargo (CRS-25)

STARTS PAGE: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

START DATE: July 14, 2022

START TIME: 20:44:22 EDT (July 15 0044:22 GMT))

WEATHER FORECAST: 70% chance of fair weather; Low risk of upper level winds; Low risk of adverse conditions for booster recovery

ENHANCED RECOVERY: An unmanned aircraft carrier named “Gravity Deficit” east of Jacksonville, Florida


TARGET ORBIT: 118 miles x 130 miles (190 km x 210 km), 51.6 degree inclination


  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:30: Phase separation
  • T+02:38: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:43: First stage ignition boost (three engines)
  • T+03:15: First stage booster afterburner cut
  • T+05:45: First stage inlet ignition (three engines)
  • T+05:59: First stage input burnout
  • T+07:06: First stage landing ignition (one engine)
  • T+07:33: First stage landing
  • T+08:37: Second stage engine shutdown (SECO 1)
  • T+11:49: Dragon separation payload

MISSION Statistics:

  • The 164th launch of the Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • The 172nd launch of the Falcon missile family since 2006
  • 5th release of Falcon 9 booster B1067
  • The 143rd Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Space Coast
  • 51st SpaceX launch from pad 39A
  • Overall issue 145 from pad 39A
  • 106th flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 5th edition of the improved Cargo Dragon
  • SpaceX’s 25th cargo mission to the International Space Station
  • 30th Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • 30th launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • 30th orbital launch from Cape Canaveral in 2022

E-mail Author.

Follow Stephen Clarke on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

About the author


Leave a Comment