January 25, 2018 – 11:06 am

Today, SpaceX completed a successful static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket in advance of the CRS-5 mission for NASA. The test was conducted at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and ran for the full planned duration.

SpaceX also conducted a static fire test on December 17 and while the test accomplished nearly all goals, it did not run the full duration. The data suggested we could have pushed forward without a second attempt, but out of an abundance of caution, we opted to execute a second test.

Given the extra time needed for data review and testing, coupled with the limited launch date availability due to the holidays and other restrictions, our earliest launch opportunity is now January 6 with January 7 as a backup. A few times a year, the ISS orbits through a high beta angle period. This is where the angle between the ISS orbital plane and the sun is high, resulting in the ISS being in almost constant sunlight for a 10 day period. During this time, there are thermal and operational constraints that prohibit Dragon from being allowed to berth with the ISS. This high beta period runs from December 28, 2014 – January 7, 2015. Note that for a launch on January 6, Dragon berths on January 8.


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  • avatar Why is NASA still using the space shuttle and rockets, instead of ships like that Ansari X-prize winner's? | Yahoo Answers
    • price and NASA has to do extensive testing and development to adapt the idea to their protocols they can't just say" great idea lets build it" it has to go through all the red tape. Remember NASA is a government agency after all, so it will never be fast. Besides think of all the contractors that have invested millions in the space shuttles, you change before the contracts are complete and either you pay huge penalties or you watch an enormous company with thousands of jobs go bankrupt.