Monday, April 16, 2012
The Clock Has Started for SpaceX
Canadian Space Agency animation of the Canadarm2 grappling the SpaceX Dragon. Video source: NASA.
SpaceX passed its NASA Flight Readiness Review (FRR) today and is still on target for its historic April 30 launch to the International Space Station.
Some issues remain, mostly further software reviews.
According to Spaceflight Now:
The Flight Readiness Review concluded SpaceX's launch date target of April 30 is realistic, but more discussions are planned in the coming days before final launch preparations begin.
An internal SpaceX readiness review is on tap for April 22, followed by a meet-up between SpaceX and NASA officials April 23.
Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said more "in-the-loop" testing between hardware and software is scheduled over the next few days.
There are also several software validation steps remaining before flight, according to Mike Suffredini, NASA's space station program manager.
NASASpaceflight.com has more technical details.
NASA has posted its complete media coverage schedule for the mission. It shows the Dragon arriving May 4 at the ISS and departing May 21 for re-entry and splashdown.
Other news stories:
Associated Press "Private company's 1st space station visit on track"
Florida Today "Historic SpaceX launch on track for April 30"
Forbes "SpaceX Dragon Is Cleared For Departure To The International Space Station"
Space.com "1st Private Mission to Space Station Set to Launch April 30"
Space News "http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120416-spacex-track-for-april-launch-space-station.html"
SpacePolicyOnline.com "SpaceX Demo Flight to ISS Still on for April 30 But Expectations Need to be Dampened"
UPDATE April 18, 2012 — The YouTube channel ReelNASA has uploaded the video of Monday's SpaceX Flight Readiness Review press conference. Click the arrow below to watch.