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The International Space Station Program and SpaceX have selected Friday, April 18 for the next launch attempt for the Falcon 9 rocket to send the Dragon cargo craft on the company’s third commercial resupply mission to the space station. Launch is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. EDT. NASA TV coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m.
The 45th Weather Squadron forecast predicts a 40 percent chance of favorable weather, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms that could result in violating the Thick Cloud, Lightning and Flight Through Precipitation rules. The detailed weather forecast is below.
A launch on Friday results in a rendezvous with the space station on Sunday, April 20 and a grapple at 7:14 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m. with berthing coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m.
SpaceX has settled on a backup launch date of Saturday, April 19 for the best pair of launch dates for the science payloads being delivered to the station. If needed, a Saturday launch would occur at 3:02 p.m. NASA TV coverage would begin at 2 p.m. This would be a three-day transit to the station instead of two days with grapple on Tuesday, April 22.
If SpaceX launches Friday, the contingency spacewalk to replace a failed multiplexer-demultiplexer will be conducted on Wednesday, April 23.
If SpaceX scrubs Friday and attempts to launch Saturday, the contingency spacewalk moves earlier to Sunday, April 20.
Falcon 9/Dragon Remote Camera Set-up (Complex 40/UCS-3)
Thursday, April 17: Media will be able to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad. SpaceX security regulations require that news media representatives participating in any activity inside the pad be U.S. citizens.
11:30 a.m. - U.S. media depart from the Press Site for Complex 40
Noon - Begin remote camera set-up
1 p.m. - Complete remote camera set-up
1:05 p.m. - Depart for Press Site
Friday, April 18: Media may participate in a briefing at 9:30 a.m. EDT, previewing U.S. EVA 26. During the spacewalk planned for April 23, NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson will replace a failed backup computer relay system on the station's truss. Participants are:
- Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager
- Brian Smith, International Space Station flight director
- Glenda Brown, lead spacewalk officer
Web Activities Updates and Additional Information
For updates to these SpaceX-3 prelaunch activities, go to:
For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit:
For further information about the International Space Station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA's commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit:
For more information about SpaceX, visit: