SpaceX's Fifth Cargo Mission to ISS Slips Three Days

SpaceX's Fifth Cargo Mission to ISS Slips Three Days

SpaceX and NASA announced today that the launch of the fifth operational SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX CRS-5 (SpX-5), has been delayed from December 16 to December 19.

NASA said the three-day slip will allow SpaceX “to take extra time to ensure they do everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch,” adding that the Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft are in “good health.”  Launch will be at 1:20 pm EST.  NASA TV coverage begins at 12:15 pm EST.

That means complementary shifts in the schedule of briefings associated with the launch and berthing to ISS.   The three pre-launch news conferences will shift to December 18 (at 12:00 noon, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm EST)) and grapple and berthing will take place on December 21.   See our calendar for more details.

SpaceX launches cargo to the ISS under a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.  Twelve Space-X CRS flights delivering 20 tons of cargo to the ISS are scheduled through the end of 2016. 

Orbital Sciences Corporation is the other company that provides CRS services to NASA.  The most recent launch of its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft failed on October 28.  Orbital is purchasing launch services from the United Launch Alliance and upgrading Antares and Cygnus to allow the company to meet its own contractual commitment of delivering 20 tons of cargo to the ISS by the end of 2016, which it now expects to accomplish in seven rather than eight launches.

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