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Falcon 9 rocket is go for overnight launch attempt (3:44 a.m. EDT/12:44 a.m. PDT)
SpaceFlightNow.com ^ | 21MAY2012 | Unspecified

Posted on 05/21/2012 11:24:23 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine

SpaceX has swapped out a faulty check valve on a Merlin engine on the Falcon 9 rocket and approved plans for a second launch attempt at 3:44 a.m. EDT (0744 GMT) Tuesday. You can follow the entire flight on Spaceflight Now with live video and comprehensive coverage.

Computers aborted the countdown a half-second before launch Saturday due to high pressure in one of the Falcon 9 rocket's nine first stage engines. Engineers opted to replace a check valve in the first stage's center engine - engine No. 5 - after inspections.

"The failed valve was replaced on Saturday and after thorough analysis the vehicle has been cleared for launch," SpaceX said in a statement.

Liftoff is targeted for 3:44:38 a.m. EDT (0744:38 GMT), the moment Earth's rotation brings Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad in the path of the space station's orbit.

The Dragon spacecraft should be captured by the International Space Station's robotic arm at about 8:06 a.m. EDT (1206 GMT) on Friday.

The weather forecast shows an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions for Tuesday's launch opportunity. The primary threat is violating the cumulus cloud rule.

Tropical Storm Alberto, now located about 175 miles east of Jacksonville, Fla., will not be a factor for Tuesday morning's launch, according to U.S. Air Force forecasters.

Dry air is prevalent over the Space Coast, and light winds are expected from the west-northwest today becoming variable overnight," Air Force meteorologists wrote in a forecast synopsis. "Given this favorable weather pattern, there is only a slight chance of isolated showers which will likely be offshore along the Gulf Stream."

The outlook calls for a few clouds at 3,000 feet and scattered clouds at 12,000 feet. The temperature is forecast to be 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and winds will be variable at 5 knots.

Countdown procedures tonight should begin around 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 GMT) with the power-up of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cots23; flight3; launch; spacex

1 posted on 05/21/2012 11:24:29 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Go Baby!


2 posted on 05/21/2012 11:31:23 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

What’s the fuel Jack? Hydrazine?


3 posted on 05/21/2012 11:31:36 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

The fuel in the Falcon 9 is kerosene and liquid oxygen.


4 posted on 05/21/2012 11:47:52 AM PDT by Colinsky
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Tropical Storm Alberto has cleared the air south of Jacksonville so this should be a cool launch to view...wait, 3:44 am... hmmm... naaaa.


5 posted on 05/21/2012 11:51:23 AM PDT by corkoman (Release the Palin!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I rode over for the first attempt and will probably ride over tonight. Any Freepers go to watch launches in person?


6 posted on 05/21/2012 11:55:56 AM PDT by DocRock (All they that TAKE the sword shall perish with the sword. Matthew 26:52 Gun grabbers beware.)
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To: DocRock

I’d love to, but I’m up in VA.


7 posted on 05/21/2012 12:03:19 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: Colinsky

I was just foolin’ with Jack! Hydrazine is used in rocket fuel.


8 posted on 05/21/2012 12:17:19 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Liquid hydrogen?


9 posted on 05/21/2012 12:37:50 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Actually, it’s RP-1 (kerosene).


10 posted on 05/21/2012 12:38:34 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Jack, Hydrazine is N2H4.


11 posted on 05/21/2012 12:48:43 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I thought you were asking about the fuel for the Falcon 9!


12 posted on 05/21/2012 12:55:26 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Come on Yall, I thought it was a clever play on words.
Some people have no sense of humor.


13 posted on 05/21/2012 1:01:33 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

And N204 is hypergolic with hydrazine.


14 posted on 05/21/2012 1:02:47 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: tet68

Yup! I was just playing around with Jack’s name. Name/word juxtaposition. I was trying to by humorous,,,,, obviously didn’t work!


15 posted on 05/21/2012 1:16:14 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: KevinDavis

Thanks Jack Hydrazine.


16 posted on 05/21/2012 1:27:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Now I see it! LOL!


17 posted on 05/21/2012 3:24:15 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: tet68

Email from SpaceX:

SpaceX Launch Attempt Set for 3:44 AM Eastern on Tuesday, May 22nd

Tomorrow’s Launch from Cape Canaveral Would Set the Stage for Historic Test Flight

First Ever Attempt by a Private Company to Send a Spacecraft to the International Space Station

Hawthorne, CA – Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22nd, at 3:44 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft to orbit in an exciting start to the mission that will make SpaceX the first commercial company in history to try to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Sending a spacecraft to the space station has only ever been accomplished by four entities – the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Union.

Saturday’s launch was aborted when the flight computer detected slightly high pressure in the engine 5 combustion chamber. During rigorous inspections of the engine, SpaceX engineers discovered a faulty check valve on the Merlin engine. The failed valve was replaced on Saturday and after thorough analysis the vehicle has been cleared for launch.

SpaceX will webcast the launch live at www.SpaceX.com starting at 3:00 AM Eastern.

After launch, NASA will host a press conference that will include SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and President Gwynne Shotwell. It will be live on NASA TV or webcast at www.NASA.gov/ntv.

Detailed information on the mission is available in the SpaceX launch press kit: http://www.spacex.com/downloads/COTS-2-Press-Kit-5-14-12.pdf

Throughout the mission high-resolution photos will be posted at spacexlaunch.zenfolio.com and broadcast quality videos will be posted at vimeo.com/spacexlaunch.

Mission Highlights: During the mission, Dragon must perform a series of complex tasks, each presenting significant technical challenges (dates subject to change):

May 22/Launch Day: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches a Dragon spacecraft into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
May 23: Dragon orbits Earth as it travels toward the International Space Station.
May 24: Dragon’s sensors and flight systems are subject to a series of complicated tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station; these tests include maneuvers and systems checks that see the vehicle come within 1.5 miles of the station.
May 25: NASA decides if Dragon is allowed to attempt to berth with the station. If so, Dragon approaches; it is captured by station’s robotic arm and attached to the station. This requires extreme precision as both Dragon and station orbit the earth every 90 minutes.
May 26 - 31: Astronauts open Dragon’s hatch, unload supplies and fill Dragon with return cargo.
May 31: Dragon is detached from the station and returns to Earth, landing in the Pacific, hundreds of miles west of Southern California.

This is SpaceX’s second demonstration flight under a 2006 Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement with NASA to develop the capability to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station. The purpose of the flight is to provide NASA and SpaceX with flight data needed to ensure successful future missions to the space station. Demonstration launches are conducted to determine potential issues so that they might be addressed and – by their very nature – carry a significant risk. If any aspect of the mission is not successful, SpaceX will learn from the experience and try again.

About SpaceX

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. With a diverse manifest of 40 launches to deliver commercial and government satellites to orbit, SpaceX is the world’s fastest growing launch services provider. In 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to put a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to Earth. With the retirement of the space shuttle, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will soon carry cargo, and one day astronauts, to and from the Space Station for NASA. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Valor Equity Partners. The company has over 1,800 employees in California, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Florida. For more information, visit www.SpaceX.com.

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18 posted on 05/21/2012 3:25:57 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

At least I wasn’t a total failure Jack! Hydrazine is crazy stuff!


19 posted on 05/21/2012 3:26:39 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Is it just coincidence that the problem again is engine #5, The CENTER engine?


20 posted on 05/21/2012 3:35:44 PM PDT by houeto (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: houeto

It could be a total coincidence!

Considering that #5 is surrounded by eight other engines it is possible that the other engines are affecting how it runs.


21 posted on 05/21/2012 3:40:37 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

15 minutes ping


22 posted on 05/22/2012 12:30:07 AM PDT by Museum Twenty (To see myself as others see me? Sounds like a terrible fate! I take great comfort in self-delusion.)
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