(CTN NEWS) – Falcon 9 – After weather forced the cancellation of a launch attempt earlier in the week, SpaceX launched a Dragon cargo ship Saturday carrying roughly four tonnes of supplies and experiments for the International Space Station.
At 2:20 EST, a Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center (1920 GMT).
Due to rain and cloud cover at the Florida spaceport, SpaceX postponed Tuesday’s first launch attempt for the resupply mission.
Due to unfavorable weather, we are standing down from today's launch of CRS-26. Next launch opportunity is Saturday, November 26 at 2:20 p.m. ET
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 22, 2022
To wait for the following launch window on Saturday, the Falcon 9 rocket remained on the Kennedy launch pad.
Because the Federal Aviation Administration wants to guarantee that the airspace is open for commercial airline traffic.
SpaceX could not fly the cargo mission during the Thanksgiving holiday, a time of high travel volume in the United States.
Following a safe launch on Saturday, the Cargo Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to connect with the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 7:30 a.m. EST (1230 GMT) on Sunday.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 26, 2022
The pressurized cabin of the Dragon spacecraft will be filled with goods as astronauts aboard the space station unlock hatches and start unpacking.
Nine Merlin engines producing 1.7 million pounds of thrust propelled the Falcon 9 rocket as it descended over the Kennedy Space Center’s downrange in the northeast.
Approximately two and a half minutes into the mission, the rocket shut down its first-stage booster.
Allowing it to descend and land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean about 186 miles (300 km) downrange and seven and a half minutes after launch.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship pic.twitter.com/SIVrDEYT9R
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 26, 2022
On the CRS-26 mission, the rocket with tail number B1076 completed its first space flight.
Twelve minutes after liftoff, the brand-new Dragon spacecraft began its ascent to the International Space Station by separating from the upper stage of the Falcon 9.
At T-minus 35 minutes, SpaceX’s launch team started packing super-chilled, densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 vehicle.
They were positioned inside a firing room at a launch control centre at Kennedy.
During the final hour of the countdown, helium pressurant also poured into the rocket.
The Merlin main engines of the Falcon 9 underwent “chill down,” or thermal conditioning for flight, in the final seven minutes before liftoff. The guidance and range safety systems aboard the Falcon 9 were also set up for takeoff.
Astronauts at the space station will unlock hatches and unpack supplies, experiments, and other equipment stashed within the pressurized compartment of the Dragon spacecraft after the new cargo capsule has docked.
The reusable capsule will depart from the space station at the end of the mission, carrying many tonnes of supplies, and will land with the help of a parachute off the coast of Florida in mid-January.
Two new ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays, or iROSA modules, to modernize the space station’s power system are among the payloads in the Dragon spacecraft.
The additional roll-out arrays, which will supplement the power generated by the station’s original solar arrays, will be installed and deployed by astronauts on board the station next month.
Between 2000 and 2009, the current solar array wings were carried into orbit on shuttle missions. The solar panels are coiled up on spools during the launch to resemble yoga mats.
The spools will be moved to attachment locations on the lab’s left- and right-side solar power trusses by the space station’s robotic arm after being unbolted from their mounting posts inside the Dragon spacecraft’s rear cargo area.
The roll-out solar panels will extend to cover a portion of the current arrays.
After the first two iROSA units were introduced in 2021, this pair was released. Next year, a SpaceX resupply flight will launch the last two roll-out solar panels.
Other items on the CRS-26 mission include experiments to see how well dwarf tomatoes grow in space, a portable hand-held microscope to help astronauts take pictures of their blood samples for medical purposes.
And a technology demonstration to gather information on building flexible structures in space.
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