SpaceX Resupply Mission Slips to Wednesday

CAPE CANAVERAL (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than 11:24 a.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 13th, for the company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX requested additional time for prelaunch ground systems checks.

A Dragon spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Dragon is now scheduled to arrive at the space station on Saturday, Dec. 16.

NASA Television coverage for launch is as follows:

Wednesday, Dec. 13

  • 10:45 a.m. – Launch commentary coverage begins
  • 12:30 p.m. – Post-launch news conference with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX

Saturday, Dec. 16

  • 4:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous at the space station and capture
  • 7:30 a.m. – Installation coverage

Watch live on NASA Television and the agency’s website: www.nasa.gov/live.

Join the conversation online by following @space_station.

  • SamuelRoman13

    My dream is still alive for a Mars free return mission. SpaceX rep. said they will test fire FH at the end of Dec. and 2 weeks later in Jan. will launch. This is the same time-line needed for the Mars- Venus free return. One problem is the 2 week LEO checkout. The oxygen will boil off. I went to Paragon website and in recent years they have come up with ways to slow this down and may have enough to head for Mars, Venus, Earth. Also they have a membrane filter for dirty water. Until FH launches I will keep up hope.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    With a reused capsule, and booster, Falcon has reached shuttle level re-use ratios from the POV of major subsystems being reusable or not. And this delay drives the shuttle analogy home stronger still. 🙂

  • windbourne

    Not really. This is block 4 and is not fully optimized for reuse. Once optimized, I would expect few delays.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    On the other hand, a reused booster and reused capsule could have little to do with particles in the second stage fuel lines. What was your point?.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    It was a nudge at Shuttle, as most of the SX launches this year were on time with smooth countdowns.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Quite happy to knock the Shuttle, but SpaceX delaysseem to be a combination of bringing 40 back online and, quality control and/or procedures. Not seeing that reuse is the major factor. With that said, don’t know how they’re going to land and relaunch in 24 hrs if it takes weeks and weeks to launch. Roll on Block 5 and BFR to hurry us along the road to launch mundanity.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    🙂 I’m not damming any of the systems. It was a bit of a joke that Falcon is acting quite Shuttle like in a way that if you grew up in the Shuttle era delays were something you assumed would happen. It’s quite an achievement for SX to reach Shuttle levels of re-use, and a tad step back to emulate Shuttle in other metrics. I’m in no way damming SX to hell for it. It’s just an observation, not a value judgment. Much of the delay is as you mentioned getting the pad back into operation, but some of it could be due to ground crew getting back into the swing of launches after the recent pause. My bet is you don’t just do the same thing at SX all the time, rather it seems they throw you around to what ever fire is burning at the time. I do this myself at any time of the week I may find myself tweaking 30 year old code written in C, tweaking a GUI in Python, flying a powered aircraft around class C airspace, flying a glider in class G, or D, or operating any one of 3 telescopes I’m checked out on, or doing instrument changes on one of them. All those are radically different disciplines and changing from one to the other is a matter of pause and resetting mindsets.