Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SpaceX Falcon 9 To Launch Dragon Capsule April 30, 2012

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is scheduled for Monday, April 30, 2012 following the completion of NASA's flight readiness review,.  A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 12:22 p.m. EDT.

During the flight, SpaceX's Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station (ISS).  The primary objectives for the flight include a flyby of the ISS at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach. T he spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous.  After these capabilities are successfully proven, the Dragon will be cleared to berth with the ISS.

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