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  SpaceX Dragon CRS-5 flight to the space station

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Author Topic:   SpaceX Dragon CRS-5 flight to the space station
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31577
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-17-2014 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX release
SpaceX CRS-5 Mission Overview

After five missions to the International Space Station, including four official resupply missions for NASA, SpaceX is preparing to launch its fifth Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission to the orbiting lab.

SpaceX's CRS-5 mission will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

If all goes as planned, Dragon will arrive at the station two days after lifting off. Dragon is expected to return to Earth four-and-a-half weeks later for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of California.

Background and purpose

CRS-5 (SpX-5) is the fifth of at least 12 missions that SpaceX will fly under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

In December 2008, NASA announced that SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft had been selected to resupply the space station after the end of the shuttle program in 2011. Under the CRS contract, SpaceX has restored an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from the orbiting laboratory.

Cargo

Dragon is filled with more than 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to support 256 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 42 and 43. Science payloads will enable model organism research using fruit flies and will study flatworms to better understand wound healing in space.

One science payload is the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), a laser remote sensing experiment that will orbit on the International Space Station. CATS will characterize and measure the worldwide distribution of clouds and aerosols: tiny particles that make up haze, dust, air pollutants and smoke. Knowing where aerosols are in the atmosphere can be critically important, as these particles can affect weather, climate, airplane safety, and human health.

The mission also delivers an IMAX camera for filming during four increments and tools to be used in future spacewalks to prepare the station for the installation of the new international docking adapters.

Dragon will return with about 3,600 pounds (1,635 kg) of cargo, which includes crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, space station hardware, and trash.

See here for discussion of SpaceX's fifth Dragon CRS flight to the ISS.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31577
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-10-2015 04:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
SpaceX launches Dragon to space station as rocket targets but fails at first landing

The launch of a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station had potential to put a new, historic spin on the adage "what goes up, must come down."

Instead, in the words of SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk, it was "close, but no cigar."

Nine minutes after lifting off at 4:47 a.m. EST (0909 GMT) on Saturday (Jan. 10) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the Dragon entered orbit. The launch signaled the start of CRS-5, the fifth station cargo run under SpaceX's 12-flight, $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

At about the same time that the gumdrop-shaped capsule entered space, its 208-foot-tall (63 meter) booster's spent first stage was anticipated back on Earth. But unlike just about every other rocket's first stage in history, this rocket segment wasn't falling to its destruction. It was "boosting back" in an experimental engine-powered maneuver that if successful, would have left it poised on a floating platform off the coast of Florida.

"Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard," Musk reported on Twitter...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31577
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-12-2015 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dragon captured, berthed at space station

SpaceX's CRS-5 Dragon spacecraft completed its two-day trip to the International Space Station on Monday morning (Jan. 12).

NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti were in the space station's Cupola when they used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture the Dragon at 4:54 a.m. CST (1054 GMT). The two spacecraft were flying 262 miles (420 km) above the Mediterranean Sea, just southeast of Barcelona, when the grapple was achieved.

"Congratulations and nice job," said Wilmore, the commander of the station's Expedition 42 crew. "It's been a couple of days getting here, and it's nice to have it on-board, and we'll be digging in soon."

Flight controllers at NASA's ISS Mission Control in Houston remotely operated the station's arm to berth the Dragon to the Harmony node. The cargo capsule was secured by two sets of bolts to the side of the module at 7:54 a.m. CST (1354 GMT).

The Dragon will spend the next four weeks attached to the outpost as the Expedition 42 crew unloads it of supplies and research equipment before repacking it with completed experiments, spent hardware and refuse for its return to a splashdown and recovery on Earth in early February.

The CRS-5 Dragon's arrival marked the sixth time that a Dragon has berthed to the space station, the 74th cargo freighter to resupply the outpost and the 155th mission to the orbiting laboratory.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31577
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-10-2015 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dragon departs space station

SpaceX's CRS-5 Dragon spacecraft is now on its way back to Earth.

The unmanned cargo freighter was released by the station's robotic arm at 1:10 p.m. CST (1910 GMT) on Tuesday (Feb. 10) as the two spacecraft orbited over Australia. The Dragon was detached from the Earth-facing side of the station's Harmony module earlier in the day.

The Dragon capsule will execute three thruster firings to move it a safe distance from the space station for its deorbit burn at 5:49 p.m. CST. The spacecraft is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Long Beach, California around 6:44 p.m. CST (0044 GMT).

The craft is returning to Earth with about 3,700 pounds (1,700 kg) of cargo, including science samples from physiology research, biology and biotechnology studies and physical science investigations.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31577
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-10-2015 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Critical NASA Science Returns to Earth aboard SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 7:44 p.m. EST Tuesday (Feb. 10) 259 miles southwest of Long Beach, California, with nearly 3,700 pounds of NASA cargo, science and first-of-its-kind technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station.

The Dragon spacecraft will be taken by ship to Long Beach, where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA. Dragon will then be prepared for a return trip to SpaceX's test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.

"The ability to resupply and return this critical research continues to be an invaluable asset for the researchers here on Earth using the International Space Station as their laboratory in orbit," said Kirt Costello, deputy chief scientist for the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Flight controllers in the Mission Control Center at Johnson robotically positioned Dragon safely away from its docking port earlier Tuesday, where it was released for its deorbit maneuver, sending it on its way to a parachute-assisted splashdown.

Among the returned investigations were printed parts and hardware from the first technology demonstration of 3-D printing in space. The 3-D printer demonstration used relatively low-temperature plastic feedstock on the space station. The test phase ended with a printed ratchet wrench made with a design file transmitted from Earth to the printer.

"Experiments like 3-D printing in space demonstrate important capabilities that allow NASA and humanity to proceed farther on the journey to Mars,” Costello said. “Other investigations such as those focused on protein crystal growth take advantage of the unique microgravity environment and offer us new avenues to investigate troubling diseases back on Earth."

Dragon also returned samples, hardware and data from several biology and biotechnology studies performed on the station. The Advancing Membrane Protein Crystallization by Using Microgravity investigation explored the production of high-quality crystals of the cystic fibrosis protein and other closely related proteins. Because many medically relevant proteins are difficult to crystalize on Earth, researchers attempt to grow them in space to help determine their shape and structure with the hope of improving drug therapies for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system.

Samples from the Advanced Plant Experiments 03-1 will help scientists better understand the effects of microgravity on the development of roots and cells on plant seedlings. Researchers will conduct a detailed analysis of the returned plant samples to determine the molecular and genetic mechanisms that control plant development in microgravity. With this knowledge, scientists may be able to improve agricultural and bioenergy research on Earth, leading to crops that use resources more efficiently.

Dragon is the only space station resupply spacecraft able to return a significant amount of cargo to Earth. The spacecraft lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Jan. 10 carrying more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and elements to support 256 scientific investigations and arrived at the orbiting complex two days later on Jan. 12. The mission was the fifth of at least 12 cargo resupply trips SpaceX will make to the orbiting outpost through 2016 under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.

See here for discussion of SpaceX's fifth Dragon CRS flight to the ISS.

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