Space Station Supply Flight Wednesday Dec 4, 2019

#1
The CRS-19 resupply mission to the Space Station is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday Dec 4 at 12:51 PM EST. (9:51 PST, 17:51 UTC)

It's going to be a SX Falcon 9 carrying a cargo Dragon. The booster is going to be a brand-new never-flown block 5, B 1059. (It probably still has that showroom new-booster smell.) They originally were going to fly B 1056.3 an older thrice-flown booster on this mission, but decided to swap it and fly that older booster to launch an upcoming communications satellite to geosynchronous orbit. Those higher missions require so much more fuel that the booster isn't recovered, so they decided to recover the newer one and expend the older one. B 1059 is set to be recovered at sea on OCISLY.

Here's where OCISLY (being towed by the ocean-going tug Hawk) and Go Quest (the support ship for OCISLY where the humans stand off a safe distance when the boosters come down) were today on their way out to the landing zone.

https://twitter.com/SpaceXFleet/status/1...0046201856

The Dragon capsule will be making its third trip to space. It previously visited the Space Station on SpaceX's 4th and 11th supply flights.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1199463905258590208

NASA says that they will be streaming the launch. NASA will also stream Dragon CRS-19's arrival at the Space Station on Saturday when it will slide up close to the Station where Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA's Andrew Morgan, assisted by American Jessica Meir who will be monitoring telemetry, will use the Canadarm (it's a giant Canadian-built robot arm) to grab it and plug it onto a docking port. On top of that, NASA will be streaming a briefing about the cargo being carried on this mission (lots of scientific experiments and hopefully no green slime) on Tuesday (tomorrow). Details and schedule here

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-...tivities-3

More NASA stuff about the mission here.

https://www.nasa.gov/spacex

SpaceX will probably have their own stream of the Wednesday launch on their website. They usually do. The SpaceX streams typically include video from onboard cameras and shots of the booster landing. (Or not.) That would be here:

https://www.spacex.com/

Several other sites will have streams too. They will probably take the SX stream and voice over it with their own commentary. I'll get info on that and edit this post with those details.
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#2
Bump to latest threads top.
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#3
Standing down for today due to strong upper altitude winds as well as windy conditions around OCISLY landing ship. Launch has been pushed back to 12:29 EST, 9:29 PST and 17:29 UTC tomorrow. (It has to launch on time so as to be able to catch up with the Space Station.)

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1202274520402317314

What's more, a mystery has developed regarding the second stage deorbit. This usually happens south of Australia and this will be no different in that regard. What is different is that the warning area has shifted south and west.

https://sattrackcam.blogspot.com/2019/12...upper.html

The sattrackcam thing includes this: "During the CRS-19 pre-launch press conference yesterday, the SpaceX Director of Dragon Mission Management, Jessica Jensen, said the Falcon 9 upper stage is doing a "thermal demonstration" after the CRS-19 orbit insertion, that amounts to a six-hour coasting phase. In reply to reporter questions she provided slightly more details somewhat later in the press conference, adding that the test is done at the request of a customer for future missions that require a long coast. During the long coast phase, they will a.o. measure the thermal environment in the fuel tanks."

This BTW, explains why B1059 is slated to land on OCISLY instead of returning to Cape Canaveral as other Space Station resupply missions have done. The thermal test being conducted by the second stage requires that it retain some fuel in its tanks. So the first stage will have to expend more of its fuel, eliminating its boostback margins needed for a return to the Cape.

I'm just speculating, but the customer asking for this might be NASA or SpaceX itself. SpaceX has recently received a contract from NASA to research orbital rocket refueling, something that SpaceX plans to do for its Starship missions and NASA obviously wants the ability to do itself. That would involve cryogenic propellants remaining in orbiting tanks for relatively extended periods. So they are obviously going to need to learn more about tank heating, pressure buildup and boil-off and so on.
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#4
(Dec 3, 2019 02:25 AM)Yazata Wrote: Several other sites will have streams too. They will probably take the SX stream and voice over it with their own commentary. I'll get info on that and edit this post with those details.

The launch has been pushed back to Thursday.

SpaceX will have their live-feed on their website.

http://www.spacex.com/webcast

NASA should have theirs here:

https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

NSF will have a stream here:

https://twitter.com/ChrisG_NSF/status/12...8631349248

Tim Dodd will have a stream:

https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut/statu...6473379842

SpacePadreIsle might have a stream as well. They did today before the launch was cancelled. If so, it should be here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkP5NW...NhcGr2G2pQ

Felix might have a stream here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR4m4nRIG0s
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#5
NSF's stream is on. SpaceX's will start in about 37 minutes.

According to the NSF stream the prelaunch poll has just concluded and everything is 'Go'. Propellant loading has just started and will continue until just three minutes before launch.

That's called 'Load and Go', and it took SpaceX some convincing to get NASA to accept it. The old NASA process had the rockets fueled hours before astronauts climbed aboard. But since the LOX is cryogenic, it boils off. So to get a max load, they need to load the propellants as close to launch as possible.

The high altitude winds, and winds at the recovery site where OCISLY is, are satisfactory today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfPoUROLw3M

Today's a busy day. Rocketlab has a launch scheduled from New Zealand about 2:30 AM EST tomorrow (approximately), and Russia is planning to launch a Progress supply capsule to the Space Station about 4:30 AM EST tomorrow. The Space Station is going to be busy getting lots of new stuff. (You can never get enough new stuff.)

Big vent of vapor from B 1059 right on time, indicating that T - 20 minute propellant loading has begun. Everything sounds good on the SpaceX launch net. (They are generally quiet unless problems arise and things are currently quiet.)

Edit: T - 8 minutes. Everything looks good.

5,000 people are watching the NSF stream. All over the US, Poland, Wales, Egypt, Malaysia, all around the world.

Engine chill has begun. They run some cryogenic propellant into the engines prior to lighting them, so the cold doesn't come as a shock.

Edit 2: Launch was beautiful, stage separation, nominal orbit insertion, Dragon has separated from the second stage, and...

B 1059 successfully returned and landed on OCISLY.

Next big event: The Boeing Starliner unmanned commercial crew orbital demonstration mission to the Space Station on Dec 19. SpaceX's Crew Dragon in-flight abort test might happen in December as well, but a date hasn't been announced (that I'm aware of).

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/stat...0155236352

https://twitter.com/JimBridenstine/statu...7289790464

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/stat...9966204928

Edit 3:

The Octagrabber has grabbed B 1059.1 (the .1 indicates it's completed one flight to and from space), the rocket is secured and Hawk has begun towing OCISLY back to Port Canaveral.
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#6
(Dec 5, 2019 06:05 PM)Yazata Wrote: Next big event: The Boeing Starliner unmanned commercial crew orbital demonstration mission to the Space Station on Dec 19.

It now appears to be scheduled for 6:36 AM EST Dec 20.

A ULA guy says that the one-day slippage in the Boeing launch is due to the one-day delay in getting the SpaceX CRS-19 supply flight off.

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/stat...9007000577

Quote:SpaceX's Crew Dragon in-flight abort test might happen in December as well, but a date hasn't been announced (that I'm aware of).

They just came out today and announced NET (not earlier than) January 4.

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/stat...1201085441

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/20...te-update/

Boeing Starliner on the Cape Canaveral pad (NASA photo):


[Image: ELIwUNuWsAA-CQV?format=jpg&name=small]
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