Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with CRS-13 slips again
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the CRS-13 Dragon spacecraft has slipped again, with NASA stating that the new launch time is now Dec. 12, with the “instantaneous” launch window opening at 11:46 a.m. EST (16:46 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida.
The mission is part of the $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract that the NewSpace company has entered into with NASA. An estimated 4,800 lbs (2,177 kg) worth of cargo to the International Space Station is prepared to be sent aloft when CRS-13 takes flight.
If everything goes as it is presently planned, the “flight proven” first stage, upon sending Dragon on the first leg of its journey, will carry out a landing at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1.
NASA issued the following statement about this latest delay:
NASA and our commercial cargo provider SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Dec. 12 at 11:46 a.m. EST for their 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. This new launch date takes into account pad readiness, requirements for science payloads, space station crew availability, and orbital mechanics. Carrying about 4,800 pounds of cargo including critical science and research, the Dragon spacecraft will spend a month attached to the space station.
The launch, the first to take place from Canaveral’s SLC-40 since the $185 million Amos-6 satellite was lost when another Falcon 9 rocket exploded while sitting on the launch pad during a test, had been scheduled from Dec. 4 to Dec. 8 and now the 12th.
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.