Today’s launch went as planned and was successful. Falcon 9’s first stage rocket returned to the drone ship in the Atlantic and the Dragon spacecraft is making its way towards the International Space Station. Original story follows.
Upper-level winds and choppy seas for SpaceX’s drone ship scrubbed yesterday’s first launch attempt. SpaceX will try to give it another go at 12:29 pm ET. Weather is looking pretty good again, but meteorologists at the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing are keeping an eye on the slight chance of clouds building in enough to violate the thick cloud layer rule. Right now, the probability of that happening is only at 20%.
But this 20% chance does not include any effect upper-level winds might have on today’s potential launch. Fortunately, SpaceX says the upper-level winds are calmer today.
This morning, the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon spacecraft payload sat on the launch pad ready to make its pricey shipment to the ISS.
Thousands of pounds of food, supplies, and experiments are tucked inside the Dragon spacecraft atop the Falcon 9 rocket waiting to launch. For this Dragon spacecraft, it’ll be its third trip to the International Space Station. It made its first trip on CRS-4 in September 2014 and flew again three years later for the CRS-11 mission in June 2017.
SpaceX’s webcast covering the launch and subsequent landing of the first stage should go live about 15 minutes before launch (embedded below).
SpaceNews’ Jeff Foust reported on Twitter why the first stage is making its return trip out at sea instead of back on Cape Canaveral.
Foust then answered a question on why SpaceX would need to do a “thermal demonstration.”
The ISS’ robotic arm will capture the Dragon spacecraft on Saturday. Then, it will spend a month attached to the space station before bringing back more than 3,800 pounds of cargo to Earth when it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean off the Baja California coast.