Dragon CRS 10 cargo delivery to the International Space Station

Today, 18 of February of 2017, at 10:01 a.m. EST (local time) the Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 12th Dragon cargo spacecraft, with the name of CRS 10. It will be a live broadcast from NASA TV (8:30 a.m. EST (local time)) and SpaceX.

If there is no more delay (the original launch date was on the last quarter of 2016 for safety reasons) it will deliver crew supplies, science research and hardware to support the Expedition 50 and 51 in the International Space Station (ISS).

It can be delayed because of technical or bad weather condition, like if the wind exceeds 30 knots (15.43 m/s) at 162 feet (49.38 m) . The next launch window (the specific time frame to reach a specific orbit and location) is at 9:38 a.m. EST (local time) the next day (February 19).

UPDATE(19/02/2017): Launch aborted at T-13 seconds, it could be a problem with the thrust vector control of the second stage.

screenshot-2017-02-18-16-04-20

The Dragon will be docked to the ISS for one month and then, the crew will reload some cargo to return it to Earth.

Dragon CRS

Dragon CRS is a cargo spacecraft with two main cargo areas. The primary one (pressurized and recoverable) in the capsule and the secondary one, with a large cargo volume, in the cargo-carrier trunk.

Cargo Manifest

Total Cargo: 5,266 pounds (2,389 kilograms)

  • Pressurized Cargo: 3,150 pounds (1,429 kilograms)
    •  Science Investigations: 1,609 pounds (730 kilograms)
    • Vehicle Hardware: 842 pounds (382 kilograms)
    • Crew Supplies: 580 pounds (263 kilograms)
      • Crew care package
      • Clothing and hygiene items
      • Wet trash bags
      • Food
      • Operation data files
    • Russian Hardware: 73 pounds (33 kilograms)
    • Computer Resources: 24 pounds (11 kilograms)
    • Spacewalk Equipment: 22 pounds (10 kilograms)
  • Depressurized Cargo: 2,116 pounds (960 kilograms)
    • SAGE III (stratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment III, it is the third generation of ozone study instrument)
    • STP-H5 – Platform for seven experiments and hardware
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Samantha Cristoforetti working on packing Dragon… Credits: ESA/NASA [122B9506]

Launch Pad 39A

This launch is special because it is the first use of the Launch Pad 39A since the last launch of the space shuttle Atlantis in 2011. From that pad where launched 12 Saturn V rockets of the Apollo moon program, the Skylab space station and 82 Space Shuttle until their retirement. The near 39B pad will be used by the NASA’s future rocket, Space Launch System (SLS).

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Skylab launch on a Saturn V modified rocket on pad 39A

The Falcon 9 Launcher

This flight will use the Falcon 9 launcher from SpaceX, a liquid propellant rocket that the first stage has been designed to be able to re-utilize.

Other cargo spacecrafts

The Dragon is one of the two private companies that have a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),  the other one is the Cygnus by Orbital ATK.

But there is other cargo vessels, owned by public organizations, like the venerable Progress,  a modified version of the manned Soyuz spacecraft from the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos) , the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)  from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and  the non operative Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) from (ESA) which did his last flight in 2015.

References and more information:

NASA’s SpaceX CRS-10 Mission Overview

SpaceX’s CRS 10 press kit

Saturn V remastered picture by Dan Beaumont Space Museum

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