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Weather Forecasters Expect Good Time to Launch Dragon Crew on Saturday – Spaceflight Now



A SpaceX Falcon 9 missile is fired from the hangar on a 39A pad in this photo. The first official weather forecast released on Tuesday by US Air Force meteorologists predicts an 80% chance for early space launch on Saturday SpaceX's spacecraft crew during a test flight to the International Space Station

The meteorological prospects for Saturday's start requires a partly cloudy sky, cool west-southwest winds and mild temperatures. The only minor concern is potential cumulative cloud disruption and cloud time cloud.

The human-induced capsule lifting – flying without astronauts this time – is scheduled for 2:49:03 am EST (0749: 03) GMT, roughly the time Earth rotation brings the 39A launch site to the space center Kennedy under the orbital path of the space station.

Mission leaders can adjust start time by a few seconds in the coming days based on updated tracking of the station's orbit space. The exact start time on Saturday will allow the Drak Crew Spacecraft to reach the orbital automated dock research complex at 6am EST (1100 GMT).

A relatively dry stream in the southwest will keep the low probability of rain, and the superficial winds are relatively weak. , – the forecasts of the 45th Squadron of the Air Time, published on Tuesday. "The forecast gives only slight concerns about any cumulus cloud or cloud rule defect during the main Saturday launch window. The maximum high winds will be from the west about 80 knots to 45,000 feet. "

NASA and SpaceX officials will convene a review of market readiness on Wednesday to discuss the state of the launch preparations. If the managers cleanse the crew's spacecraft and its Falcon 9 on Saturday, the missile is scheduled to exit the SpaceX hangar on a 39A paddle somewhere Thursday for a trip up the ramp to the start-up mountain. the Falcon 9 vertical rocket launcher

With a good weather forecast, employees hope the rocket can get off early Saturday. Backup capabilities are available on March 5 and March 9, when the position of the space station in its orbit will allow the crew of the Dragon to reach the day after the launch. The Crew Dragon demonstration will then have to retreat until a crew of three space stations is deployed on March 14 from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

The long-term forecast predicts a more humid climate at the start of next week, and the forecasts expect a 40 percent probability of conditions preventing the attempt to launch the March 5 reserve option. – Helping the Atlantic Ocean sprawl about 240 miles (390 km) east of Cape Canaveral. A newly-built recovery ship, with hardware and experts to provide the crew of the Dragon upon his return to Earth, will remove the capsule and return it to the port.

The upcoming Dragon crew flight test is a basic test of SpaceX. an estimated spacecraft that the company has developed in partnership with NASA. The US space agency has a $ 2.6 billion contract with SpaceX to fund the design, development and testing of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

NASA has a similar $ 4.2bn deal with Boeing, which develops the CST-100 Starliner Crew Cap, providing US astronauts to two low Earth orbit carriers and ending NASA's dependence on Russian vehicles funds from the soy for this work.

After the test flight without pilots, SpaceX will repair and refill the same vehicle with the Dragon crew for a flight break test during the spring flight. The termination demo will confirm that the spacecraft can launch its escape thrusters to flee from a damaged booster during a flight.

Then the new Dragon vehicle will be ready to launch with a team of two astronauts from NASA as early as July. NASA veterans Robert Behkenen and Doug Hurley will move the Crew Dragon to the space station on the second test flight – known as Demo-2 – before the commercial spacecraft is certified to start regular crew flights to the research post.

Follow Steven Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .


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