Falcon 9 fizzles: No SpX-5 launch until Jan. 9
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The fifth operational flight under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS ) contract, carried out by SpaceX, will have to wait just a little longer before taking off into the early-morning skies. This was caused by an issue with the thrust vector control system, an actuator drift on the Falcon 9 v1.1’s second stage, which caused the terminal account to be cancelled just one minute and 21 seconds prior to the 6:20 a.m. EST launch time.
The next launch attempt is currently set for 5:09 a.m. EST on Friday, Jan. 9. NASA’s George Diller stated that there would be no post-scrub press conference and SpaceX’s John Taylor stated that no further information was available at this time.
When the Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket and Dragon spacecraft duo do take to the skies, they will ferry some 5,200 lbs (2,539 kg) worth of cargo, crew supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. This flight will mark the fifth operational flight that the company will conduct under the $1.6 billion CRS contract that the Hawthorne, California-based company has with the space agency.
Some of the experiments that Dragon will provide a ride to station include the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), the Self Assembly in Biology and Origin of Life (SABOL) and the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). SSEP is unique in that a version of the experiment was on the doomed Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket when it exploded on Oct. 28, 2014.
If everything goes according to plan, SpaceX has a total of four flights to the space station scheduled to take place throughout 2015. The NewSpace firm also has a variety of commercial missions on its manifest as well
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.