Storms delay SpaceX station delivery using recycled capsule

Posted June 08, 2017

SpaceX's launch director called off the launch attempt around 25 minutes before the scheduled blastoff from launch pad 39A at 5:55 p.m. EDT (2155 GMT), moments after a lightning strike at nearby Merritt Island violated the Falcon 9's launch weather rules.

The experiments will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and carried to the ISS on the company's Dragon spacecraft. For this launch, it will be filled with nearly 6,000 pounds of crew supplies, hardware and science research, including equipment to study neutron stars.

While the Falcon booster is new, SpaceX will attempt to land it at Cape Canaveral, Florida, following liftoff so it, too, can be reused.

If the mission goes as planned, the Dragon will be captured by a robotic arm as it flies by the space station in order to dock with it.

The capsule will remain attached to the station for about a month or so and then it'll return to Earth with completed experiments and their results.

Live launch coverage of the SpaceX Nasa resupply CRS-11 mission launch will begin on Nasa Television, the SpaceX website and SpaceX's hosted webcast on YouTube at 5:15PM EST (10:15PM BST). The new solar panels called Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) which are lighter and stores more compactly for launch than the rigid solar panels now in use will also be sent to ISS.

Two of the space station's five crew members head back to Earth on Friday. First the company must recoup the money it spent on developing and testing Falcon 9 and its predecessor, Falcon 1, noting that three of the four Falcon 1 flights and two Falcon 9s failed.

"Sea breeze storms will fire up after 2 p.m. Thursday and some storms could stick around through launch time", Bridges said. It will burn up harmlessly in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Falcon Heavy was created to carry humans into space and make it feasible to fly humans to the Moon or Mars, said SpaceX. When it does get off the ground, the CRS-11 mission will be the 100th launch from Launch Complex 39A.

If the launch is postponed for any reason, another opportunity opens at 5:07 pm (2107 GMT) Saturday, June 3. The Musketeers haven't given a figure on how much reusing the dragon capsule will save, but it's expected to be a lot. The weather forecast is 70 percent favorable, with a risk of afternoon thunderstorms.

"A majority of this Dragon has been in space before and has been docked with the station for a couple of weeks", said Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of flight reliability, during a pre-launch news conference at KSC on Wednesday.