NASA/Spacex Launch and Mission to Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) is scheduled for liftoff on Saturday, May 19. The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will occur from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 4:55 a.m. EDT.
NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral begins at 3:30 a.m.
During the flight, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including the capability to rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station. The primary objectives for the flight include 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.