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[SPESS] 2015-04-13 SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 6 Launch

drasnordrasnor Starship OperatorHawthorne, CA Icrontian

2015-04-13 20:33 UTC (16:33 EDT), Cape Canaveral, FL: SpaceX will be launching a Falcon 9 medium-lift launch vehicle carrying a Dragon 1 spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under the Commercial Resupply Services program. This will be the 8th flight of the Dragon 1 spacecraft and the sixth mission under the CRS contract (designated CRS-6/SpX-6). CRS-6 is slated to arrive at ISS at 11:00 UTC (07:00 EDT) on April 15 following a two-day rendezvous phasing profile. 4,387 lb of payload is manifested for this flight including new science to study protein growth, genetics, physiological effects of space flight, and test a new "muscle" material for use in robotics as well as supplies including the ISSpresso coffee maker. Commercial payloads include the Arkyd-3 space telescope from Planetary Resources of Redmond, WA; 14 Flock 1e Earth observation satellites from Planet Labs of San Francisco, CA; and the AggieSat4/Bevo2 satellite from Texas A&M University and University of Texas. Arkyd 3 and the Flock 1e satellites will be deployed from ISS using a Nanoracks cubesat deployer while the larger AggieSat4/Bevo2 satellite will be deployed using the new Cyclops deployer. In an unusual turn of events, Dragon will be flying with an empty trunk and as such carry no unpressurized cargo for this mission.

The weather forecast is 60% favorable for launch due to an incoming front triggering rain and thunderstorms over the weekend. The launch window is instantaneous due to the nature of the spacecraft orbital injection and as such any delay or hold will result in a 24-hour delay. In addition to the primary mission of delivering the Dragon spacecraft safely to its rendezvous with ISS, SpaceX will be making its third attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle on its Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) Just Read the Instructions shortly after launch. The previous attempt during the launch of the DISCOVR spacecraft was thwarted by high sea conditions preventing JRTI from keeping station in the recovery zone resulting in the stage executing a precision soft landing in the ocean; a remarkable achievement in unfavorable wind and sea conditions. An earlier attempt during the CRS-5 mission was unsuccessful as well due to early depletion of hydraulic fluid powering the first stage control effectors and resulted in a spectacular hard landing on JRTI. This will be an afternoon launch providing good conditions for the launch and first stage recovery attempt. SpaceX will be providing live streaming coverage of the launch on their webcast at http://www.spacex.com/webcast/ and NASA will also be streaming the launch on their feed at http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv .

Have fun and fly safe!

PirateNinjaErrorNullTurnip
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Comments

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian

    ISSPresso. Yus. You are doing good work dras.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    COFFEE IS BEST MISSION

    ErrorNullTurnipRyder
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Weather was no-go today due to anvil clouds in the 10-mile exclusion zone around the launch site. The next launch opportunity is April 14 at 20:10 UTC (16:10 EDT).

    primesuspect
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    If you're curious about the origins of this flight rule, this is one that we learned the hard way: http://www.universetoday.com/98484/this-day-in-space-history-apollo-12-and-sce-to-aux/

    ErrorNullTurnip
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    We have liftoff!

    Chooch
  • FettBaconFettBacon Viscount Icrontian

    I think My favorite tweet of all time happened today

    PirateNinjaRyanFodder
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian

    It's so amazing. I don't know if this would be possible but it looked like a small ring of boosters on the upper portion could stabilize it at the end in case of over-correction by the lower boosters. Sort of like a hard exception catcher. The software for this must be incredibly fun to write -- and terrifying.

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian

    For that matter the simulations must be fun to write as well.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian

    @PirateNinja said:
    It's so amazing. I don't know if this would be possible but it looked like a small ring of boosters on the upper portion could stabilize it at the end in case of over-correction by the lower boosters. Sort of like a hard exception catcher. The software for this must be incredibly fun to write -- and terrifying.

    It could be artifacting, but it looks like they have just that. Right before touchdown I see 2 plumes from the sides.

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian

    You're absolutely right, that's so cool. Spess is the best. I can't wait for them to land it. Until then, I should stick to making shoes.

  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Icrontic politico Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    @FettBacon said:
    I think My favorite tweet of all time happened today

    Noting it only says "SpaceX Engineer", there is a pretty good chance that @drasnor may have tweeted that.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian

    This just came by my Reddit feed. So close. @PirateNinja, you can get a really good view of the lateral thruster(s) trying to keep things stable but not quite able to get it straight.

    Honestly, it's pretty epic that we're even to the point where this is feasible, let alone that close to being right.

  • DontCallMeKelsoDontCallMeKelso Kelso 'The Great Asshole' San Jose, CA Icrontian

    I'm no rocket scientist/engineer or anything, but wouldn't like a tiny parachute help slow that down and maybe stabilize? (by the way, total shower thought this morning)

    But in all honesty, hella cool and hella close, and hella sweet that we're getting close to reusable landable rockets.

    Give me my Star Trek style ships now!

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian

    @DontCallMeKelso said:
    I'm no rocket scientist/engineer or anything, but wouldn't like a tiny parachute help slow that down and maybe stabilize? (by the way, total shower thought this morning)

    As if I need to say it, also no rocket scientist but, I think a parachute would indeed stabilize but at the same time would take away from the abilities of the thrusters at the top and bottom by changing the pivot point/center of balance.

    Reusable rockets FTW.

    -Digi

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited Apr 2015

    What if there were localized powered magnets on the sea-ship that activated to hold the rocket's individual fins in place for stabilization on the actual landing pad? You could use Tesla Batteries TM.

    ie if you had very powerful "binary" magnets on the landing pad it could make up for the dynamic of the horizontal sway of the bottom of the rocket by locking the base of the booster in place once it is X feet above the base. That matched with the upper-most thrusters could allow for the rocket to rapidly stabilize using existing systems. (Sutor, ne ultra crepidam - thx obasil)

  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    @Drasnor I read a tweet regarding Dragon being attached to the space station. Do you know why it takes so long to open the hatch?
    The comment was "hatch opening will occur over the next day"

    Thanks.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @Ryder said:
    Drasnor I read a tweet regarding Dragon being attached to the space station. Do you know why it takes so long to open the hatch?
    The comment was "hatch opening will occur over the next day"

    Thanks.

    It's a somewhat involved process. It takes a couple of hours for controllers operating Canadarm2 to swing ~6 metric tons of spacecraft from the capture point over to line up on the ISS active common berthing mechanism with the passive common berthing mechanism on Dragon. Engaging the CBM is a manual process for the crew and has a fairly large number of individual checklist steps and verification steps due to the critical nature of the task. Once there's confidence that the mechanism is engaged properly, the hatch vestibule is slowly pressurized from hard vacuum to one atmosphere and monitored for leaks and signs that the mechanism isn't quite right. Once pressurized, everything is left alone for a few hours to check the leak rate and make sure it's acceptably low. Opening both hatches is another manual process with air quality checks, surface contaminant checks, and visual inspection of all the important bits followed by a series of cable hookups between ISS and Dragon. Only after all of that is complete is the crew allowed to move into unloading cargo.

    It's worth noting that the capture occurred at 10:55 AM from the crew's point of view, that the CBM mechanism wasn't engaged until ~1:30 PM, and that the crew work day is pretty much over at 6:15 PM. For the previous Dragon flight, orbital mechanics were such that Dragon was captured a couple of hours earlier which permitted a same-day hatch opening. The nominal operation is to open it in the morning on the following day.

    RyderCBTushonprimesuspectBobbyDigiErrorNullTurnip
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    Thank you! :)

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    So fucking cool to have a first-hand explainer of things as one of our friends. Thank you, Drew. For real.

    BobbyDigidrasnormalia
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @aspieRommel said:
    Noting it only says "SpaceX Engineer", there is a pretty good chance that drasnor may have tweeted that.

    I'm going to shut down that line of speculation right now. I love what I do and love to tell people about it but at the same time I have a responsibility to my employer to not divulge confidential, privileged, or controlled information. There are some people however that take these things and post them to the Internet under anonymous accounts in a clear breach of trust. I try very hard to make sure that I only post or discuss matters which have already been released through official channels or has been cleared in advance by the company. I'm glad you all are interested in what we're doing and are following our progress so I won't try to dissuade you from watching or trying to learn from leaked materials but I'd like you to appreciate that if it didn't come from an official channel such as a company outlet or named account then it was not meant for public consumption. Pretty much the smartest thing that SpaceX Engineer did all week was to make all of his or her tweets private.

    PirateNinja
  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Icrontic politico Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    @drasnor I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was just making light of the anonymity of the tweet. If I have offended you in any way, I apologize.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @aspieRommel said:
    drasnor I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was just making light of the anonymity of the tweet. If I have offended you in any way, I apologize.

    No worries, it's not something that would be obvious to an interested outside party. It's not that I'm offended by y'all, more that I think what that person did is reprehensible and that I don't want to be associated with their actions. I'm not anonymous here or anywhere and I think my words and actions should speak for themselves.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Time to come home!

    Timeline (2015-05-21):
    6:45 AM EDT: NASA TV coverage begins.
    7:04 AM EDT: Dragon is released from ISS and begins its departure.
    11:49 AM EDT: Dragon begins its de-orbit burn.
    12:42 PM EDT: Dragon splashes down in the Pacific Ocean just west of Santa Barbara, CA.

    http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-to-air-us-cargo-ship-departure-from-international-space-station

    If you tune in you might get to see me pick my nose.

    primesuspectBobbyDigiCBChooch
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Toasty!

  • RequitRequit That one guy Somewhere over there, I don't know Icrontian

    How hot is it when it hits the water?

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian

    hotter than a 3 peckered billy goat in mating season

    primesuspect
  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @Requit said:
    How hot is it when it hits the water?

    Short answer, not very.

    A longer answer: Dragon is covered in ablative materials; in essence these ablative materials carry away heat by reacting with the plasma to erode away. The energy is spent in turning the outer surface to ash which itself creates a kind of film barrier to diminish heat transfer into the vehicle. At some later point, compressibility heating becomes less significant than convection cooling in the atmosphere and the vehicle begins to chill. The vehicle must be relatively cool to deploy the parachutes such that it does not melt or burn through the parachute risers.

    On the subject of re-entry guidance of capsules:

    Late phase of an earlier Dragon re-entry:

    A more recent re-entry of Orion:

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