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Thu May 24, 2012, 01:47 AM

SpaceX cargo craft en route to flyby of space station

Source: Spaceflight now

After a succession of rocket burns to fine-tune its pursuit of the International Space Station, the commercial Dragon spacecraft is due for a flyby of the complex Thursday, a crucial prerequisite for the ship's planned arrival at the outpost Friday.

Since it launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 3:44 a.m. EDT (0744 GMT) on Tuesday, Dragon has accomplished GPS navigation tests, abort demonstrations, and a test to see if the craft could turn off its control thrusters and enter free drift mode, the condition necessary for the space station's robot arm to reach out and grapple the spacecraft.

Dragon also opened the door to the ship's navigation bay, which contains laser rendezvous and thermal imaging sensors, as well as the spacecraft's grapple fixture.

SpaceX is testing the Dragon spacecraft to prove its readiness to carry supplies to and from the space station under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

Read more: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120523flyby/

5 replies, 1736 views

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Reply SpaceX cargo craft en route to flyby of space station (Original post)
MindMover May 2012 OP
RushIsRot May 2012 #1
Tunkamerica May 2012 #5
truthisfreedom May 2012 #2
bananas May 2012 #3
bananas May 2012 #4

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 01:57 AM

1. Star Trek here we come!

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Response to RushIsRot (Reply #1)

Thu May 24, 2012, 06:46 AM

5. More like Alien.

Star Trek was a "publicly" funded "enterprise". Alien's was privately funded.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 02:06 AM

2. Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 02:31 AM

3. Live NASA TV coverage has started

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
I think ustream is supposed to have the highest resolution video.

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Response to bananas (Reply #3)

Thu May 24, 2012, 02:36 AM

4. Flyby in about an hour (12:47am Pacific Time)

http://hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=38128

<snip>

See also Twitter posts for latest news:
/-- Twitter / Search - #DragonLaunch
/-- Twitter / Search - #DragonFlyby

Update 2:21 am EDT: A post from Elon - Twitter / elonmusk:
Dragon fly by of Space Station planned for 12:47 am California time. All systems green. ‪

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