Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Delays in Resupply to ISS

Falcon 9 and Dragon under preparation.

It will not launch earlier than late April, but SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon resupply capsule are making progress towards their flight. The soon-to-be-historic flight will accomplish two major milestones for SpaceX. The mission combines its next objective, that of a rendezvous near the station, with its next objective, which is actual docking. By achieving the two goals in one flight, SpaceX will leap forward in their progress and save money as well. If successful, it ill be the first commercial resupply of the ISS (outside of Space Agencies). Last week, the Falcon 9 rocket seen in the picture above made a successful testing on the pad of its fueling and simulated launch.

ATV-2 on approach to ISS.

Meanwhile. on Friday March 2, European Space Agency directors announced a delay in the launching of the next cargo resupply to the ISS. Workers will need to re-enter the cargo area of the craft, designated ATV-3 (Automated Transfer Vehicle 3) to retighten cargo straps and prevent load shifting during the launch. This delay will move the launch to March 23. The ATV-3, officially nicknamed Edualdo Amaldi (after an Italian physics scientist), will carry 7 tons of fuel, water, air, and supplies to keep operations going on the ISS. The ATV is to be launched on top the Arianne 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in South America.

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