The SpaceX second demonstration mission for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is under way, and NASA is updating its coverage of the Dragon spacecraft's flight to the International Space Station.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon lifted off at 3:44 a.m. EDT Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. During the flight, the Dragon capsule will conduct a series of checkout procedures to test and prove its systems, including the capability to rendezvous and berth with the space station.
One of the primary objectives for the flight is a flyby of the space station at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach.
The spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous. Once Dragon successfully proves these capabilities, it will be cleared to berth with the space station.
NASA TV MISSION COVERAGE
Thursday, May 24 (Flight Day 3): Live NASA Television coverage from NASA's Johnson Space Center mission control in Houston as the Dragon spacecraft performs its flyby of the International Space Station to test its systems begins at 2:30 a.m. EDT and will continue until the Dragon passes the vicinity of the station. A news briefing will be held at 10 a.m. following the activities.
Friday, May 25 (Flight Day 4): Live coverage of the rendezvous and berthing of the Dragon spacecraft to the station begins at 2 a.m. and will continue through the capture and berthing of the Dragon to the station's Harmony node. A news briefing will be held at 1 p.m. after Dragon is secured to the station.
Saturday, May 26 (Flight Day 5): Live coverage of the hatch opening and entry of the Dragon spacecraft begins at 5:30 a.m. and will include a crew news conference at 11:25 a.m.
NASA TV also will provide live coverage of the departure and reentry of the Dragon spacecraft once a date is determined.
Date: May 24, 2012