Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM – 2 May 2019
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – NASA and SpaceX officials confirmed today that
launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is on track for a spectacular ‘middle-of-the-night liftoff
less than 12 hours from now Wednesday, May 3, after finally fixing an
electrical power problem caused by a failed power distribution component earlier
this morning, May 2, that had curtailed power and operations at the orbiting
At today’s prelaunch
briefing at the Kennedy Space Center, Kenny Todd, NASA’s space station
operations and integration manager, reported that the ISS was now ready to support the SpaceX launch
after ground controllers at JSC were able to successfully swap out of the failed
Main Bus Switching Unit 3 (MBSU) power distribution unit using the stations
robotic arm and restore full power.
The failed Main Bus Switching Unit 3 (MBSU) was
unable to distribute power to two of the eight power channels on the station since
it malfunctioned Monday morning, forcing a two day launch delay.
Thus technically the Falcon 9 is ready to go
but a threatening storm system is heading towards the Florida Space Coast at
this moment and could well derail the launch plans.
and NASA are now targeting 3:11 a.m.
EDT (0711 GMT) Friday, May 3 for the Falcon 9 rocket launch of the unpiloted Dragon CRS-17
cargo ship from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station in Florida bound for the ISS with almost 3 tons of science and supplies.
Enjoy our Space UpClose photos of the Falcon 9
and Cargo Dragon resting horizontal at pad 40.
NASA TV will broadcast the launch and capture
You can watch live on NASA TV and the agency’s
website starting at 2:45 a.m. EDT May 3 – at www.nasatv.gov www.nasatv.gov
SpaceX also broadcasts a live webcast starting
15 min before liftoff: spacex.com/webcast
The launch time is instantaneous with no
up launch date is May 4 in case of a delay for technical or weather reasons.
the weather outlook is not promising.
weather forecasters with the 45th Space Wing predict only a 40%
chance of favorable conditions at launch time.
concerns are cumulus clouds, thick clouds, and precipitation as the Falcon 9
ascends to orbit.
Technicians are finalizing the rocket for launch and
carrying out final launch preparations as they also pack aboard the very
important ‘late load’ science and hardware using a mobile cleanroom for
research samples and experiments that must be loaded in the final 24 hours before
mission is also very exciting because it will also feature the 1st ever
droneship landing that should be easily visible occurring just a few miles offshore
of the Florida Space Coast beaches – following an emergency approval granted last
week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The Dragon CRS-17 cargo freighter will carry over
2.7 tons of science experiments, research gear, crew supplies and hardware to
the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 59 and 60 crews for
the 17th mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.
arrives …. carrying nearly 5,500 pounds
of the robotics workstation … commanding
to capture Dragon” whenever it does arrive. A launch Friday translates to a
Sunday May 5 arrival.
This Dragon is refurbished and recycled and previously flew
on the prior CRS- 12 mission to the station in Aug. 2017.
SpaceX Dragon CRS-17 mission truck carrying two
payloads including NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3
(OCO-3) and the U.S. military’s Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6) payloads.
high, 12-foot-diameter Dragon CRS-16 vessel is jam packed with more than 5500 pounds (2500 kilograms) of science
experiments, research hardware, space parts, food water, clothing and more supplies
for the six person Expedition 59 and 60 crews.
including the two unpressurized cargo payload carried up in the truck and to be
mounted externally: namely NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) which will measure
levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during its planned 3 year mission and the Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6).
pounds / 1,517 kilograms
Unpressurized Payloads: 2,128 pounds / 965 kilograms
The path to May 3 launch was cleared after SpaceX
completed a critical and successful static hot fire test of their Falcon 9 rocket
first stage engines at 10 a.m. EDT Saturday morning, April 27 for the NASA contracted
resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Check out my
exclusive Space UpClose eyewitness photos captured about 13 miles away this
morning in Titusville, Fl – with NASAs iconic and picturesque Vehicle Assembly
Building (VAB) seen nearby in the scene.
Watch for Ken’s continuing
onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman
and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and
Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Learn more about the upcoming/recent SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-17 launch to ISS, Falcon
Heavy, SpaceX Demo-1 launch/test failure, SpaceX Beresheet launch, NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches,
Northrop Grumman Antares, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming outreach events at
Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center,
Titusville, FL, evenings:
2/3/4: “SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-17
resupply launch to ISS, Demo-1, Beresheet launches, SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches, upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9, ULA, NRO
& USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules,
OSIRIS-Rex, InSight Mars lander, Curiosity and Opportunity explore Mars, NH at
Pluto, Ultima Thule and more,” Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville,
FL, evenings. Photos for sale