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Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon capsule on launch for test -shooting today – Spaceflight Now

THE EDITOR’S OPINION: The Falcon 9 static fire for Axiom’s Ax-1 mission is scheduled before 2 pm EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, April 6. A streaming video of the test-shoot is available on this page.

SpaceX rolled a rock Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule to their launch spacecraft Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center, preparing to test the engine on Wednesday and launch Friday of four independent spacecraft at a 10 -day mission to the International Space Station.

The 215-foot (65-meter) tall rock emerged from its hangar with the Dragon Endeavor aircraft carrier on Tuesday. Shortly afterwards, SpaceX hoisted the Falcon 9 on its launch mount over the fire trench on class 39A.

On Wednesday morning, four people flying the Dragon capsule entered orbit in a costume workshop for the start day. They rode the board in Tesla SUVs, as they did on Friday, and put on their usual SpaceX heavy duty belt before riding the bike over the start tower and heading to the hands of the pilots to board the Dragon plane.

Costume training is a common practice prior to the launch of SpaceX astronauts, giving members of the team and their earth support team time to practice their procession before the actual countdown.

The entire mission is the first flight to an airport without a pilot’s license filled out by a government agency, such as NASA or Russia’s Roscosmos. Axiom Space, a Houston -based company, is watching the mission after agreeing with SpaceX for launch and takeoff, and signing agreements with NASA to supply the house at the airport.

Axiom plans to launch a team of new missions to the International Space Station, and then start its own module to connect with the outpost by the end of 2024. The end of the mission is expected to open the module to form the center of an independent research center. can be used by NASA and commercial vendors.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are stationed at Class 39A in preparation for Axiom’s Ax-1 private mission. Found: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

Mike Lopez-Alegria, a retired NASA astronaut who has spent about 258 days in space, will command the Ax-1 mission. Lopez-Alegria is an Axiom employee, and her three crew members are paying their way to the center as Axiom customers.

Larry Connor, head of a real estate agency and an information technology pilot, will serve as the pilot of the Dragon Endeavor spacecraft. Other personal astronauts include Mark Pathy, a Canadian investor and philanthropist, and Eytan Stibbe, a businessman, businessman, and former F-16 fighter in the Israeli Air Force.

The crew trained for the mission in Houston and at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

The Ax-1 mission lasts about 10 days, with eight days in the open field, where Lopez-Alegria, Connor, Pathy, and Stibbe will perform experiments, participate in activities. education and public relations, and enjoy their time in orbit. .

Their arrival at the stadium will increase the stadium’s population to 11 people. The landing of the Ax-1 mission is scheduled for April 18, when the Dragon aircraft will fly under parachutes off the coast of Florida.

SpaceX will then introduce passengers to the airport no later than April 23 in the new Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft. That mission, under an agreement with NASA, will launch three U.S. spacecraft and an Italian -born European Space Agency astronaut into space for a mission scheduled for about five months.

With Lopez-Alegria, Connor, Pathy, and Stibbe safely out of the Dragon capsule and far from the starting stage, the SpaceX team plans to launch super-chilled, densified solvents inside the Falcon 9 rock board on Wednesday to test the box. Nine Merlin large of the booster.

Kerosene and water oxygen will flow into the Falcon 9 starting about 35 minutes before the start time. SpaceX engineers in fire room 4 of the Launch Control Center in Kennedy will oversee the work.

The Merlin engines will fire for less than 10 seconds while the hydraulic brakes hold the Falcon 9 firmly on the ground. The engines will release 1.7 million pounds of the tank, sending a short chunk of the fire trough.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft on a Falcon 9 spacecraft at Launch Complex 39A. Available: SpaceX

Upon completion of the firefighting test, SpaceX will release accelerators from the Falcon 9. Engineers will analyze the data collected during the test to ensure that the systems are running smoothly. apau.

A readiness review is scheduled to begin Friday, during which the missionary officers will give final permission to continue the enumeration on Friday. The liftoff will begin at 11:17 am EDT (1517 GMT).

The Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft will fly northeast from Florida’s Space Coast to line up with the center’s orbital path. Flying along the U.S. East Coast, the Falcon 9 will release its first landing in about two and a half minutes into the mission, allowing the rider to descend to a level above a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The new adventurer flying the Ax-1 mission is making its fifth flight in space, after two missions took over U.S. military GPS navigation satellites, the all-new Inspiration4, and, Most recently, a jump to launch Starlink satellite satellites in January.

The rocket’s high altitude took more than six minutes to put the Dragon spacecraft and four crew members into an initial orbit. The Dragon will detach from the rocket a few minutes later, open his nostrils to reveal his restraining style, and then perform a series of Draco thruster fires to successfully make his way to the center stage. .

The Dragon capsule with the zenith, or face up, will dock at the airport’s Harmony module around 6:45 am EDT (1045 GMT) Saturday, with the mission expected to leave the airport. Friday, starting with about eight days of activities at the orbiting complex. .

There’s an 80% good chance that the Ax-1 mission will start on Friday, according to the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral. Axiom and SpaceX have release times on Saturday and Sunday.

The first cold is expected to move in the area on Friday, bringing drier and cooler conditions to Central Florida. “The first concern of the start on Friday is that it will be one of the middle ground,” the forecasting team wrote Wednesday morning.

There are problems with high winds, as well as bad conditions on the Falcon 9’s northeastern route over the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX officials will be watching during the downgrade to ensure permission to land on the platform’s first launcher, as well as safety for the Dragon capsule to explode when it is released. the fly.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.

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