In June, a new Falcon 9 rocket transported supplies aboard a reused SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. It was the first time that the Dragon spacecraft was reused on a mission. This month, NASA is reusing another piece of SpaceX equipment. Reinforcement of the first stage of Falcon 9
More than 4,000 pounds of food, equipment and experiments will be directed to 254 miles above the surface of the Earth aboard a rocket that has already made the trip to space once before. For SpaceX, it will be the fourth time I've used a previously-flown rocket. For NASA, it will be a historic first. And it shows a lot of confidence in SpaceX for an organization that sticks with the tried and true formula.
SpaceFlightNow reports that NASA approved the mission a few days ago, but not before NASA engineers studied how SpaceX repairs a rocket that has been in space before. Safety is the top priority at NASA, and the space agency needs to know that the cargo can be delivered safely to the ISS.
"Some components are removed and some new components are added," said Bill Gerstenmaier (badociate administrator of NASA). of the direction of operations and human exploration of NASA). "There is a detailed list of inspections that must be done, they did a detailed test program, they made a detailed plan."
SpaceX will use the same amplifier as the first stage that launched the Dragon spacecraft reused in July (CRS-11 ). This reinforcement will attempt its second landing on the mainland at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. As for the Dragon spacecraft next week? That will be reused too. He made his last trip to the ISS in April 2015 according to SpaceFlightNow.
Gerstenmaier makes it clear that SpaceX's reusable accelerator was only accepted for next week's flight. This is not a great acceptance by NASA. At least not yet. "We'll look at each case case by case, we'll see the history of the reinforcement, we'll see the reuse review process that SpaceX does to make sure that the hardware we receive (is reliable)." says Gerstenmaier.
As always, SpaceX will broadcast live the launch and landing of the first stage. The launch will not take place before 1:20 p.m. EST of December 8 (Friday). Keep the SpaceX webcast page checked to stay updated on the exact launch time. I will keep this publication updated too.
The ISS crew also rotates in December
It's not just the teams that go to the ISS this month. The space station will lose three crew members on December 14 when Randy Bresnik of NASA, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli return to Earth after spending 139 days together at the station.
His replacements, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, Scott Tingle of NASA, and Norishige Kanai of JAXA, will be heading on December 17. The trio will arrive in their new home during the next months on December 19.
Follow News Ledge
This publication may contain affiliate links, which means that we receive a commission if you make a purchase using one of the affiliate links. .