We should learn today whether or not SpaceX will be able to attempt a launch this week of its Falcon 9 rocket on a mission to the space station. However, a slip of a day or two, possibly longer, is expected after difficulties were encountered during Tuesday’s static test fire of the rocket’s nine Merlin engines on the launch pad.

Read The SpaceX CRS-5 Press Kit
Read The SpaceX CRS-5 NASA Fact Sheet

Liftoff had been targeted for Friday at 1:22 pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX officials declined to comment on the nature of Tuesday’s problem or confirm what components of the rocket or ground equipment experienced trouble. Sources tell Zero-G News that the company plans to repeat the test, possibly as early as today or perhaps Friday to preserve the possibility of launching this weekend. It is also possible that the launch could slip until after the Christmas or New Year’s holidays.

NASA will meet with SpaceX this morning at 9 for a briefing on the missions and possibly set a new launch date. We could know by then if the launch will be delayed. The first of a series of news conferences will be held at Kennedy Space Center at noon, at which time more details will likely be available.

The prelaunch news conference will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at noon. NASA Television will provide live coverage as well as streaming internet coverage. Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Mike Suffredini, International Space Station Program Manager, NASA
  • Hans Koenigsmann, VP of Mission Assurance, SpaceX
  • Kathy Winters, 45th Weather Squadron Rep, USAF

An ISS Research and Technology panel will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 1:30 p.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage, as well as streaming internet coverage. Participants in the panel will be:

  • Julie Robinson, ISS Program chief scientist, NASA’sJohnson Space Center, Houston
  • Michael Roberts, CASIS Sr. Research Pathway Manager
  • Cheryl Nickerson, Micro-5 PI, Arizona State University
  • Samuel Durrance, NR-SABOL PI, Florida Institute of Technology

A Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) briefing will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 3 p.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage, as well as streaming internet coverage. Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Julie Robinson, ISS Program chief scientist, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston
  • Colleen Hartman, deputy director for science, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Robert J. Swap, program scientist, NASA Headquarters Earth Science Division, Washington
  • Matthew McGill, CATS principal investigator, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Comments

What do you think?