Launch of SpaceX CRS-5 slips to no-earlier-than Dec. 9
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The next flight of one of Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX ) Dragon cargo vessels has been pushed back to no-earlier-than (NET) Dec. 9, 2014. SpaceX now plans to send the SpX-5 Dragon to orbit atop one of the company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 rockets from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) sometime on that date. The launch window for this mission should be instantaneous.
The flight is slated to carry experiments, crew supplies, cargo and spare parts to the orbiting laboratory. The Hawthorne, California-based firm has already sent four of its Dragon spacecraft to the ISS under the $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract that it has with NASA (with an additional mission traveling to the station under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services or “COTS” contract). Under the CRS arrangement, SpaceX is tasked with conducting 12 resupply flights to the space station by 2016.
SpaceX, formed in June of 2002 by billionaire Elon Musk, has been able to increase the rate of launch of its Falcon 9 launch vehicles. From 1-2 a year – to six so far in 2014 alone. Boeing and SpaceX were tapped on Sept. 16, 2014 to carry out the Commercial Crew transportation Capability phase of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
The initial draft of this article contained wording that SpaceX was a “backup” to Boeing under CCP – this is incorrect and was removed.
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.