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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will launch the CRS-8 Dragon Spacecraft Mission for NASA 2016.04.09

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA - April 07, 2016 - SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon spacecraft to low Earth orbit to deliver critical cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. SpaceX is targeting an afternoon launch of its eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-8) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The instantaneous launch window opens on April 8th at 4:43pm ET, and a backup launch window opens at 4:20pm ET on April 9th. Dragon will be deployed about 10 minutes after liftoff and attach to the ISS about two days later.

Photo courtesy of NASA
 

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA – April 07, 2016

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon spacecraft to low Earth orbit to deliver critical cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.

SpaceX is targeting an afternoon launch of its eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-8) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA.

CRS-8 Logos
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
The instantaneous launch window opens on April 8th at 4:43pm ET, and a backup launch window opens at 4:20pm ET on April 9th.

Dragon will be deployed about 10 minutes after liftoff and attach to the ISS about two days later.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 

CRS-8 Dragon Resupply Mission


Mission Overview

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon spacecraft to low Earth orbit to deliver critical cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
SpaceX is targeting an afternoon launch of its eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-8) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
The instantaneous launch window opens on April 8th at 4:43pm ET, and a backup launch window opens at 4:20pm ET on April 9th.

Dragon will be deployed about 10 minutes after liftoff and attach to the ISS about two days later.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt an experimental landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 

Dragon Spacecraft

The Dragon spacecraft will be filled with about 7,000 pounds of critical supplies and payloads for the space station crew, including materials to support dozens of the approximately 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 47 and 48.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
Dragon’s unpressurized trunk will carry the approximately 3,100 pound Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, that will attach to the space station and demonstrate expandable in-space habitat technology.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
SpaceX CRS-8 is the eighth of up to 20 missions to the International Space Station that SpaceX will fly for NASA under the CRS contract.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
In January 2016, NASA announced that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft have been selected to resupply the space station through 2024 as part of the second Commercial Resupply Services contract award.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
Under the CRS contracts, SpaceX has restored an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from the orbiting laboratory.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
A version of Dragon is also being developed for astronaut transport to and from the ISS.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 

ISS Capture

About two days after launch, International Space Station crew members will use the station’s 57.7-foot (17.6-meter) robotic arm to reach out and capture the Dragon spacecraft and attach it to the station.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 

Return Flight

Dragon will return to Earth after just over a month stay at the ISS.

Approximately five hours after Dragon leaves the station, it will conduct its deorbit burn, which lasts up to 10 minutes.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
It takes about 30 minutes for Dragon to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

CRS-8 Mission Timeline
Courtesy of SpaceX
 
For more information about the mission and payloads, visit
www.nasa.gov/spacex 


Launch Facility

Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

SpaceX’s SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is a world-class launch site that builds on a strong heritage.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
The site at the north end of the Cape was used for many years to launch Titan rockets, among the most powerful rockets in the U.S. fleet.
SpaceX took over the facility in May 2008.

The center of the complex is composed of the concrete launch pad and flame exhaust duct. Surrounding the pad are four lightning towers, propellant storage tanks, and the integration hangar.

Before launch, Falcon 9’s stages and payload are housed inside the hangar.

CRS-8
Photo courtesy of SpaceX Photos
 
The Dragon spacecraft is mated to the Falcon 9 inside SLC-40’s hangar on the transporter erector.

The rocket and payload are then rolled out from the hangar to the launch pad on fixed rails and lifted to a vertical position prior to launch.


 
 
SpaceX Contact:


John Taylor, Director of Communications
310-363-6703
media@spacex.com  


Sources:

SpaceX


http://www.spacex.com/press  

NASA

www.nasa.gov/spacex  




Editor-in-Chief of ASTROMAN magazine: Roman Wojtala, Ph.D.


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