Matthew Lickona 9:46 a.m., May 20
- San Diego Astronomy
- Downtown San Diego
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Falcon 9: Redux
00:05 PST San Diego, CA - T-minus 44 minutes and counting.
SpaceX attempts second COTS demonstration space flight.
NASA Announcer: The dragon capsule will xport 1200 lbs of mass. Will spend one week attached to the ISS. The ISS astronauts will exchange the contents with experiments, modules, and waste to be returned to earth.
Then a pause. Quiet time. I am watching a live feed of the rocket on its pad. Night time launches are the best. You get a clear site of the rocket and its pad at lift off.
Final configuration for launch confirmed. T-minus 40 minutes. Final Setup procedures are in process. Now they start the launch poll. I only catch parts of the exchange. Flight hazard road blocks in place. RC downrange tracking ready to proceed. Rock VC on Countdown 1. Range status proceeding. Verify winds aloft and ground winds within limits.
No critical errors in software. Proceeding. And a pause. And the countdown continues. Already the process has raised my blood pressure. Then flight control says, "Proceeding with in YOTA? Or was that YODA?"
Then a very long pause...
I get a chance to look at the video of the rocket, lox drifting away from the over pressure valves. Reminds me of the Gemini missions when I was a kid, but with way better video!
Announcer: T-Minus 30 Minutes and counting. At time of launch the space station will be over Newfoundland. The Dragon will race to catch up with the station and deliver its load 10:05 Friday.
735,000 pounds total weight. That gets you to orbit...
Shifting to blog comment mode!