SpaceX Launches Space Station Cargo Mission – Spaceflight Now

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch SpaceX’s 25th resupply mission to the International Space Station. Follow us Twitter.

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SpaceX’s 25th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station lifted off at 8:44 pm EDT Thursday (00:44 GMT Friday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon capsule towards the station with almost three tons of payload.

Liftoff from pad 39A at Kennedy occurred at exactly 8:44:22 p.m. EDT (0044:22 GMT), about the time the Earth’s rotation brings the launch site under the space station’s orbital plane. .

There was a 70% chance of favorable weather for launch on Thursday, according to the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron. The main weather concerns were cumulus clouds that could create a lightning and flight hazard across the precipitation.

But the weather held back Thursday to allow the Falcon 9 to lift off from the Florida Space Coast.

After liftoff, the Falcon 9 headed northeast from Kennedy, powered by nine Merlin engines generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust. The rocket shut down its first-stage booster about two and a half minutes into the mission, allowing the booster to descend to land on an unmanned ship some 186 miles (300 kilometers) deep in the Atlantic Ocean about seven and medium. -half a minute after takeoff.

The booster, tail number B1067, made its fifth flight on the CRS-25 mission. It previously launched the CRS-22 cargo mission last June, launched two manned NASA missions to the station, and carried Turkey’s Turksat 5B communications satellite into space.

The Dragon spacecraft deployed from the Falcon 9 upper stage about 12 minutes after liftoff to begin the day-and-a-half journey to the International Space Station. The CRS-25 mission’s Dragon cargo capsule launched on its third flight to the station.

Stationed inside a firing room at a launch control center at Kennedy, the SpaceX launch team began loading supercooled densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 vehicle at T-minus 35 minutes.

Pressurized helium also flowed into the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. In the last seven minutes before liftoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin main engines were thermally conditioned for flight through a procedure known as “relaxation.” The Falcon 9’s range and guidance safety systems were also configured for launch.

SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket arrive at Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the launch of the company’s 25th cargo mission to the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

Launching on time Thursday night, the Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to automatically dock with the space station’s Harmony module at 11:20 am EDT (1520 GMT) on Saturday.

Astronauts on the space station will open hatches and unpack supplies, experiments and other equipment stored inside the Dragon capsule’s pressurized compartment. At the end of the mission, the reusable capsule will undock from the station and head for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the Florida coast in mid-August with several tons of cargo.

The cargo ship launched with about 5,800 pounds of supplies and payloads, including a NASA weather instrument to be mounted outside the space station.

The Earth’s Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation Instrument, or EMIT, was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It will be attached to a mounting pole outside the space station to measure the mineral content of the world’s desert regions, the source of global dust storms that can affect weather and climate around the world.

The data collected by the instrument will help scientists learn more about how dust rising into the atmosphere from deserts affects Earth’s ecosystems and human health.

“This is going to be a very busy mission for us,” said Dana Weigel, NASA’s deputy space station program manager. “It’s packed with a lot of science. The expected duration is about 33 days.

The mission was originally scheduled to launch in early June, but SpaceX delayed the flight to resolve a steam leak in the Dragon spacecraft’s propulsion system and replace the capsule’s four main parachutes as a precaution in the event of an explosion. that the toxic propellant would degrade the duct material. filtration.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1067.5)

USEFUL LOAD: Charge Dragon (CRS-25)

LAUNCH SITE: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

RELEASE DATE: July 14, 2022

LUNCH TIME: 08:44:22 pm EDT (0044:22 GMT on July 15))

WEATHER FORECAST: 70% chance of fair weather; Low risk of high winds; Low risk of unfavorable conditions for reinforcement recovery

BOOSTER RECOVERY: Unmanned boat “A Shortfall of Gravitas” east of Jacksonville, Florida


TARGET ORBIT: 118 miles by 130 miles (190 kilometers by 210 kilometers), 51.6 degrees incline


  • T+00:00: Takeoff
  • T+01:12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:30: Separation of stages
  • T+02:38: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:43: First stage boost backburn ignition (three engines)
  • T+03:15: first stage pulse return burn cutoff
  • T+05:45: First stage inlet burn ignition (three engines)
  • T+05:59: First stage entrance burn cut
  • T+07:06: First stage landing burn ignition (one engine)
  • T+07:33: Landing first stage
  • T+08:37: Second stage motor cut-off (DRY 1)
  • T+11:49: Dragon Cargo Separation


  • 164th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 172nd launch of the Falcon rocket family since 2006
  • Fifth Falcon 9 B1067 booster launch
  • 143rd Falcon 9 launch from the Florida Space Coast
  • SpaceX’s 51st launch from Pad 39A
  • 145th launch overall from Pad 39A
  • Flight 106 of a repurposed Falcon 9 booster
  • Updated Cargo Dragon 5th release
  • SpaceX’s 25th cargo mission to the International Space Station
  • Falcon 9 30th launch of 2022
  • SpaceX’s 30th launch in 2022
  • 30th orbital launch based at Cape Canaveral in 2022

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