Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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PostPosted: May 18th, 2012, 10:20 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will attempt a demonstration launch to the International Space Station, slated for 3:55am CDT--a little under five hours from now. The spacecraft will have ~544 kilograms of supplies. The Falcon 9 is powered by nine Merlin engines and is over fifty meters tall and a mere three-and-a-half meters wide.

SpaceX and NASA staff will conduct a set of movement and approach tests during the three-week trip. If the trip is successful, SpaceX will become the first commercial organization to launch and recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit.

The launch, of course, will take place at Space Launch Complex 40.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cargo/spacex_update_staticfiring.html
http://www.spacex.com/falcon9.php


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PostPosted: May 19th, 2012, 12:37 pm 
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The planned launch was aborted with 0.5 seconds to go due to high pressure readings from the engine. Two other launch opportunities are Tuesday and Wednesday, though NASA and SpaceX personnel have not yet decided whether to use one of them.

Plans call for Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers to use Canadarm 2 to take hold of the Dragon capsule at a specially-designed grappling location, and then install it on the Harmony node.

There was a previous launch date of 30 April.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/dragon_catch.html


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PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 8:12 pm 
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It launched at 2:44am CDT. The Dragon capsule full of cargo is on its way to the ISS! In addition to its cargo (mostly food and clothing), it has some student experiments. The capsule is actually rated to hold six times in weight the supplies it has for its first rendezvous, but I suppose NASA and SpaceX are taking it slow. The pre-connection tests include stopping the capsule several times and communicating successfully with it. If allowed to connect with the ISS it will stay there for three weeks. It will return to Earth by splashing down in the Pacific.

This could be exciting times for NASA's future. One element I would like to see stressed slightly less is the commercial aspect. Many seem to be touting this stage in the Dragon experiment as a groundbreaking public-private partnership, when NASA has had public partners/contractors since the beginning. I would also like to see this replacement for the Constellation Program receive better media delivery to the public. On the Current Missions page NASA has this endeavor listed simply as "Commercial Space Transportation".

More information: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cargo/spacex_launch.html


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2012, 4:32 pm 
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On Friday at 11:02am CDT the Dragon capsule docked with the Harmony module of the International Space Station. This is a historic event, and congratulations to NASA and SpaceX!


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 6:11 pm 
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A prelaunch news conference concerning the upcoming launch of SpaceX-3 is on the schedule at Kennedy Space Center. Those interested will be able to view the news conference both on NASA-TV and on NASA's website. The news conference is set for Saturday the 15th at 12pm. Immediately after, at 1pm, will be a news conference focusing on the science and technology cargo SpaceX-3 will carry to the ISS. That second news conference will also take place at KSC.

HRPO has solar viewing planned from 12pm to 2pm on that day. HRPO personnel will show the news conferences on BRAS' Samsung LCD monitor.

The press kit for Space X-3:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SpaceXCRS-3_PressKit_FINAL.pdf


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PostPosted: October 24th, 2014, 6:49 pm 
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The release of Space X's Dragon CRS-4 Cargo Craft from the International Space Station is scheduled for 8:30am CDT tomorrow morning. The current crew has finished packing the experiment samples which are returning to Earth. The event will be covered live by NASA-TV.

More information:
http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2014/10/24/expedition-41-update-oct-24-2014/


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2015, 1:21 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The undocking of the Space X cargo ship from the International Space Station is scheduled for 1:10pm CST today. Patrons are invited to stop by the Highland Road Park Observatory on their lunch hours and watch the undocking live via NASA-TV on BRAS' LCD monitor. (Live coverage on NASA-TV begins at 12:45pm CST.) I believe this had been the fifth cargo mission from Space X.


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PostPosted: April 13th, 2015, 2:57 pm 
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Current weather conditions are sixty percent favorable for the sixth launch today of a SpaceX commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in scheduled for 3:33pm CDT. The launch can be seen on NASA-TV1, NASA-TV2, NASA-TV3 and at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html.

A post-launch news conference will follow at 5pm CDT.


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PostPosted: April 14th, 2015, 2:57 pm 
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Yesterday's launch was scrubbed. At this time, there are twelve minutes left in today's countdown. I just heard a series of "go"s from various SpaceX personnel. There is a post-launch news conference at 4:30pm CDT on all three NASA-TV stations.


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2015, 5:28 pm 
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There is a SpaceX Pad Abort Test scheduled for 5:35am CDT on Wednesday the 6th. The Test will be broadcast live on NASA-TV1 and NASA-TV2. All this weekend there have been replays of the briefing concerning this Test. I don't know when the briefing originally occurred but the last replay will be today at 7pm CDT. That replay will be shown on all three NASA-TVs.


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