In the early morning hours of Saturday, January 10, 2015, Falcon 9 and Dragon began their fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for NASA. Liftoff occurred at 4:47am EST from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Just under three minutes after liftoff, Falcon 9’s nine Merlin first stage engines cut off and the first and second stages separated. Shortly thereafter, the second stage’s Merlin Vacuum engine ignited to begin a seven-minute burn that brings Falcon 9 and Dragon into low-Earth orbit.Dragon separated from the second stage about ten minutes into flight, and Dragon’s solar arrays deployed about a minute later.Dragon is healthy, and expected to reach the ISS in approximately two days.
Meanwhile, SpaceX attempted to land the first stage on an autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean after stage separation. While the rocket made it to the drone ship, it landed hard. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get good landing video because of the dark and fog, but we are in the process of evaluating invaluable telemetry data which will inform future attempts.Dragon will now conduct a series of burns on its way to the space station. Dragon is targeted to be grappled around 6:00am EST on Monday, January 12, and be berthed to station later that morning. Continue to check www.spacex.com/webcast for updates.
Categories: Leadership in Space