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
Pass and Identification Building Hours of Operation
The Pass and Identification Building on State Road 3, Merritt Island, will be open to pick up media credentials on the following schedule:
Thursday, April 17: PIDS will open as needed. Please call Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 in advance for access to the facility.
Friday, April 18: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 19: 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. PIDS will open only in the event of a SpaceX-3 launch attempt that day.
NASA News Room Hours of Operation
Thursday, April 17: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 18: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Media badges will be valid for access to Kennedy’s Press Site through Gate 2 on State Road 3 and through Gate 3 on State Road 405, east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Recorded status reports on the launch of SpaceX-3 and associated prelaunch activities are being provided on the Kennedy media phone line. The telephone number is 321-867-2525.
Wireless capability for the news media is available at the Kennedy Press Site.
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: