SpaceX is embarking on the second leg of its series of re-supply missions serving the International Space Station and you can join the launch live online.
Update: The launch got off to a bit of a rocky start when three of the Dragon's four thruster pods malfunctioned. By late afternoon, however, all systems were back up and running, but the problems mean the ISS docking will be delayed.
This is the second such mission for SpaceX, the first having been successfully completed back in October. SpaceX has planned a total of 12 such ISS re-supply missions under its $1.6 billion contract agreement with NASA. Powered by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle (named after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars) the unmanned spacecraft will launch at 10:10 a.m. Eastern time from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. After being grappled and berthed by the Canadarm2 robotic arm, the spacecraft will remain attached to the ISS for about three weeks, after which it will return to Earth, landing off the coast of Baja, California.
The cargo situated within the Dragon spacecraft includes roughly 1, 200 pounds of supplies designed to support the ISS crew, as well as materials needed for space station experiments. Upon its return to Earth, the capsule will deliver about 2, 300 pounds of materials including biotechnology and education experiments, space station hardware, and scientific materials related to human research.
Although everything appears to be ready for the mission to proceed, just hours before the launch, Musk sent a mission update message from his Twitter account that read, "Computer glitch found by SpaceX avionics while bench testing on IM. Couldn't replicate on vehicle. Launch proceeding..."
For more, watch the live webcast below.Live streaming by Ustream
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