Flight Proven SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Poised for NASA Cargo Blastoff to International Space Station on April 2: Watch Live

‘Flight-proven’ SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon CRS-14 cargo ship poised for liftoff from Space
Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on April 2 at 4:33
pm EDT to the ISS.
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Ken Kremer    Space UpClose 
   2 April 2018

KENNEDY
SPACE CENTER, FL –  SpaceX is poised for
liftoff of their fourteenth
commercial resupply mission for NASA to the International Space
Station (ISS) from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on Easter Monday
afternoon, April 2 – using both a flight proven Falcon 9 booster and Dragon
cargo vessel approved by NASA managers for only the second time.

The
Dragon CRS-14 cargo freighter is jam packed
with nearly 3 tons of science and
supplies for the six person multinational crew serving aboard that will support
more than 50 research investigations.

Blastoff of the ‘used’ SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon CRS-14 commercial
cargo freighter is now slated for
4:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 2 from seaside Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The launch
window is instantaneous, meaning that any delay will force a 24 hour scrub to
Tuesday, April 3.

Up close
view of recycled SpaceX Dragon CRS-14 vessel loaded with 5800 pounds of science
and supplies bound for the International Space Station
from Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on April 2, 2018
. 
 Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com



CRS-14 will
deliver over 5800 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle
hardware to the million pound orbiting laboratory for the Expedition 55/56
crews during its month long stay.  

All systems are GO said NASA and SpaceX managers at an Easter
Sunday prelaunch briefing for reporters held at the KSC press site.

The weather
is also cooperating for the hordes of excited spectators flowing into area
hotels.

U.S.
Air Force meteorologists with the 45th Space Wing
Weather Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base Air Force continue to project very nice weather
with an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch time. The primary
concerns are for flight through precipitation and the cumulous cloud rule.

In case of a
delay for any reason technical or weather, the weather forecast remains at 80 percent
favorable for the 24 hour scrub turnaround day on Tuesday, April 3.

If you can’t personally be here to witness
the launch in Florida, you can always watch NASA’s live coverage on NASA
Television and the agency’s website.

The SpaceX/Dragon CRS-13 launch
coverage will be broadcast on NASA TV beginning 
at 4 p.m. Apr 2 with additional commentary on the NASA launch blog.

SpaceX will also offer their own
live webcast beginning approximately 15
minutes before launch at about 4:15 p.m. EDT.

You can
watch the launch live at NASA TV at –
 http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

You can also
watch the launch live at SpaceX hosted Webcast at – spacex.com/webcast



The Dragon was previously used during the CRS-8
mission and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and the Falcon 9 first was
recycled from the CRS-12 mission and touched down softly and safely at LZ-1 at
the Cape.


Although the Falcon 9 first stage is equipped
with grid fins and landing legs, SpaceX will not attempt to recover this Block
4 version of the booster either on land or at sea. The droneship was not
dispatched.

Instead SpaceX will run an experiment to adjust
the thrust and reentry and landing parameters to expand the envelope of return
operations.
Up close
view of landing legs on SpaceX CRS-14 Falcon 9 launching cargo Dragon to the International
Space Station
from
Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on April 2,
2018
.   Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


Following four successful SpaceX Dragon liftoffs in 2017,
the CRS-14 mission counts as the first of several planned for 2018.

About 10 minutes
after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit, at which point it will
deploys its solar arrays and begins a carefully choreographed series of
thruster firings to reach the International
Space Station
.



 


The
total cargo on board amounts to 5836 pounds/2647 kilograms. Of that 3794
pounds/1721 kg is pressurized cargo and 2041 pounds/926 kg is unpressurized and
loaded in the Dragon truck. 

The CRS-14 pressurized cargo manifest includes 758
pounds/344 kg of crew supplies, 2359 pounds/1070 kg of science investigations,
218 pounds/99 kg of spacewalk equipment, 326 pounds/148 kg of vehicle hardware,
108 pounds /49 kg of computer resources, 24 pounds/11 kg of Russian hardware.
Three payloads are mounted inside the Dragon trunk.

Grapple and berthing to the space station is targeted for
April 4. Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Norishege Kanai of the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency, backed up by NASA astronaut Scott Tingle,
will supervise the operation of the Canadarm2 robotic arm for Dragon’s capture.
After Dragon capture, ground commands will be sent from mission control in
Houston for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the
station’s Harmony module.





Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX
CRS-14, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more
space and mission
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer –
ken
at kenkremer.com



SpaceX CRS-14 mission patch. Credit: SpaceX/NASA

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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