Launch of SpaceX CRS-13 mission slips to Friday
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After announcing a 24-hour slip to Dec. 12, SpaceX has pushed back the flight of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the CRS-13 Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station again to Friday, Dec. 15 at 10:35 a.m. EST.
The reason for this latest slip was to allow the launch team to conduct full inspections and cleanings after detecting particles in the second stage, SpaceX stated on its Twitter account.
Taking additional time for the team to conduct full inspections and cleanings due to detection of particles in 2nd stage fuel system. Now targeting CRS-13 launch from SLC-40 on Dec. 15. Next launch opportunity would be no earlier than late December.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 13, 2017
If the Hawthorne, California-based company can’t launch Friday, the next opportunities will not occur until no-earlier-than late December, the company said.
When it does launch, the CRS-13 mission will be the first flight from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) since another Falcon 9 exploded during a pre-launch test on the morning of Sept. 1, 2016. Since that accident, Falcon 9 launches out of Florida have been conducted from nearby Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Besides being the first launch from the rebuilt SLC-40, this mission will be notable for being the first NASA mission to utilize a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage. Additionally, it will be the second previously-flown Dragon capsule. The first stage, core 1035, previously propelled the CRS-11 mission to the ISS in June 2017, while the Dragon capsule was used last during the CRS-6 mission in April 2015.
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity. You can find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.