Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM – 24 July 2019
long threats of poor weather from anvil clouds, thunderstorms and lightning put
an end to hopes to launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 on a cargo delivery run for NASA
to the International Space Station as the countdown clock clicked relentlessly down
to T-Zero – until a scrub was finally called as expected in the final moments
before the hoped for liftoff this evening July 24.
The SpaceX launch team decided to give it a
try despite the continuing poor weather forecast all day.
The scrub was called out with a ‘Hold, Hold,
Hold’ from the launch team at T Minus 30 seconds Wednesday evening, July 24
before the planned liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 at 6:24 PM ET (2224 GMT) with the Dragon CRS-18 cargo ship
from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in
Florida – bound for the ISS.
“The launch of SpaceX’s 18th Commercial
Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station – scheduled for
this evening – has scrubbed due to unfavorable weather conditions,” said NASA.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch is now scheduled for Thursday, July
25, at 6:01 p.m. EDT
Launch coverage will begin at 5:45 p.m. on NASA
TV and the agency’s website.
“A launch on Thursday would result in the Dragon
spacecraft arriving to the space station Saturday, July 27,” said NASA.
Check out our gallery
of Space UpClose eyewitness photos captured at the launch pad on Cape Canaveral
Air Force and the Kennedy Space Center – from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly
Building (VAB) and around the Launch Complex 39 Press Site.
window is ‘instantaneous’ meaning any delay for weather or technical reason forces
a minimum 1 day scrub – as happened today.
Unfortunately the weather outlook remains poor
for Thursday with only a 30% chance of acceptable conditions.
Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th
Space Wing predict only a 40% chance of favorable weather for the SpaceX Dragon launch on July 25.
The primary weather concerns are cumulus
clouds and their associated anvil clouds, as well as lightning.
After Thursday the next liftoff opportunity
is around Aug. 1, SpaceX said at the prelaunch briefing for media at the KSC Press
The goal of the CRS-18 mission is cargo delivery
for NASA with some three tons of science and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Florida Space Coast.
adapter known as International Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3),
which is required to be on station in order for the new commercial
crew spaceships from SpaceX and Boeing to dock at the orbiting outpost.
capable of manufacturing human tissue in orbit.
on printing human cardiac cells. This 500 lb unit was on display at the
KSC press site – see our photo.
|Techshot BFF. Credit:
mission features a once flown Falcon 9 Block 5 version rocket that launched in
May 2019 on the CRS-17 resupply mission -also from pad 40.
SpaceX will use a Dragon for the third time.
April 2015 on CRS-6 and December 2017 on CRS-13.
about 213-feet (65-meters) tall.
with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing predict only a 30% chance of favorable
weather for the SpaceX Dragon launch on
clouds and their associated anvil clouds, as well as lightning.
high, 12-foot-diameter Dragon CRS-16 vessel is jam packed with more than 5000 pounds (2300 kilograms) of science
experiments, research hardware, space parts, food water, clothing and more supplies
for the six person Expedition 60 crew.
more than 250 science and
research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 60 and
Dragon’s unpressurized trunk is carrying the Boeing-built International
Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3)
of 1177 pounds (534 kg).
arm to pluck IDA-3 from the trunk and install it onto the space-facing
zenith port of the station’s Harmony module.
the astronaut carrying commercial crew vehicles –joining IDA-2 – thereby allowing
both the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon to simultaneously dock at the
ISS and offering vast advantages and expanding opportunities to NASA to overlap
commercial crew missions – much like is currently possible for Russian Soyuz
IDA-1 which was lost when a prior SpaceX Dragon was lost during a Falcon-9 launch
failure in 2015 of the CRS-7 mission.
in 2016 and was used successfully for the first time for the docking of the
SpaceX Demo-1 Commercial Crew
Program test flight in March 2019.
July 26, and be greeted by NASA astronauts Nick Hague,
and Andrew Morgan.
Using the station’s robotic arm, Hague will grab, or grapple, Dragon with Koch
providing backup. Morgan will assist by monitoring telemetry during Dragon’s
approach. After Dragon capture, mission control in Houston will send ground
commands for the station’s robotic arm to rotate and install it on the bottom
of the station’s Harmony module,” according to NASA.
SpaceX was awarded an
approximately $3.1 Billion contract from NASA to launch 20 Dragon cargo missions
to the orbiting outpost through 2019 under the Commercial Resupply Services-1
(CRS-1) agreement that was amended in 2015 and increased from an original value
of $1.6 Billion.
remain: CRS-18, CRS-19 and CRS-20.
contract to Northrop Grumman that has likewise been increased.
the Commercial Resupply Services-2
(CRS-2) agreement awarded last year.
at Fox 35 TV News at the 3rd video of this link:
Dr Ken Kremer/Space UpClose July 24, 2019 interview with Fox
35 Orlando TV News about the SpaceX CRS-18 mission to the ISS
Ken will be onsite at the Kennedy Space Center and
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for live reporting of the SpaceX CRS-18
SpaceX CRS-18 prelaunch briefing. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
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
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
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
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:
Jul 26: Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL, evenings. Learn more about the upcoming/recent
NASA Orion Ascent-2 Abort test Falcon Heavy, NASA 2024 Moon landing
goal, SpaceX Starlink-1, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-17
launch to ISS, SpaceX Demo-1 launch/test failure, SpaceX Beresheet launch, NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches,
Northrop Grumman Antares, SpySats and more
Ken will display his photos for sale