NASA: 2012 SpaceX launch to International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, April 30

By on Apr 17, 2012 in Astronomy, Science, United States Comments

Updated: April 24, 2012 6:40 p.m.

Read SpaceX: April 30 rocket launch to International Space Station delayed, moved to about a week later

A SpaceX launch is set to happen on Monday, April 30, 2012, after officials of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) met with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) recently.



Static test firing of the Falcon 9 first stage, conducted
at Cape Canaveral, Florida (March 13, 2010)

Image Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX.com

As announced by NASA on its official website on Monday, April 16, 2012, the second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA‘s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is scheduled on the said date.

As noted in the report, Falcon 9 rocket will be launched carrying a Dragon capsule will liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 12:22 p.m. EDT, and NASA TV launch commentary will start at 11 am.

NASA noted that SpaceX‘s Dragon capsule will be conducting a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station (ISS) during its flight.

Before docking at the ISS, which is being expected on Thursday, May 3, the unmanned space capsule will make a flyby of the ISS at a distance of around 1.5 miles to make sure all sensors and flight systems are working properly.

This latest SpaceX mission is being set to carry 512 kg of non-essential items, including food, clothing and science experiments, and will also bring back around 660 kg of old equipment which NASA says may be reusable; and is expected to return to Earth on May 21.

Apparently, the original plan for this SpaceX launch was supposed to be last February 7, but it was announced postponed in January to March 20, with officials saying it needed more time to prepare the vehicle, and later moved again to April 30.

Back in December 8 2010, the SpaceX Falcon 9 became the first privately-owned company to successfully recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit, which now plans to replace NASA‘s space shuttle and being aimed to be the first ever private spaceship mission.



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