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Falcon 9 Launch Slips to NET Dec. 19, Briefing Date and Times Changed

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 11, 2014
Filed under , , , , , ,
A Falcon 9 carries a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

A Falcon 9 carries a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (NASA PR) — The fifth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract now is scheduled to launch no earlier than 1:20 p.m. EST Friday, Dec. 19, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 12:15 p.m.

The change of launch date allows SpaceX to take extra time to ensure they do everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch. Both the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon spacecraft are in good health.

The prelaunch news conferences also have moved to Thursday, Dec. 18 at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All briefings, which are subject to a change in time, will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

The first briefing of the day will air at noon and will provide up-to-date information about the launch. Participants for the prelaunch briefing will be:

  • Mike Suffredini, NASA’s ISS Program manager
  • Hans Koenigsmann, vice president for Mission Assurance at SpaceX
  • Kathy Winters with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral  Air Force Station in Florida

The second briefing, now at 1:30 p.m., will cover some of the numerous science investigations headed to the space station. Participants for the science briefing will be:

  • Julie Robinson, NASA’s ISS Program chief scientist
  • Michael Roberts, senior research pathway manager at the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, headquartered in Melbourne, Florida
  • Cheryl Nickerson, Micro-5 principal investigator at Arizona State University
  • Samuel Durrance, NR-SABOL principal investigator at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne

The final briefing, now at 3 p.m., will cover the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) Earth science instrument headed to the space station. Participants for this briefing will be:

  • Julie Robinson, ISS Program chief scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
  • Colleen Hartman, deputy director for science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Robert J. Swap, program scientist with the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Matthew McGill, CATS principal investigator at Goddard

An on-time launch on Dec. 19 will result in the Dragon spacecraft arriving at the space station on Sunday, Dec. 21. Expedition 42 Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore of NASA will use the station’s 57.7-foot robotic arm to reach out and capture it at approximately 6 a.m. Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will support Wilmore as they operate from the station’s cupola. NASA TV coverage of grapple will begin at 4:30 a.m. Coverage of Dragon’s installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin 9 a.m.

For more information about media accreditation at Kennedy, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or [email protected].

For an updated schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit:

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

12 responses to “Falcon 9 Launch Slips to NET Dec. 19, Briefing Date and Times Changed”

  1. Vladislaw says:

    Better have all their ducks in a row… would be the worst opportunity to have a bad hair day with Antares down.

    • Smokey_the_Bear says:

      The second half of 2014 would be terrible for space access, if on top of Antares blowing up, and space ship 2 blowing up, that the falcon 9 blows up.

      FINGERS CROSSED! (plus I really want to see a rocket land on a barge!)

  2. Hug Doug ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:

    gotta make sure there’s enough TP and Tang packed in there.

  3. Michael Vaicaitis says:

    Land on the barge. Land on the barge. Land on the barge. Please, please, please, land on the the barge. Land on the barge. Land on the barge. Please land on the barge.

    (Repeat every waking hour until they are successful.)

  4. Solartear says:

    Large-rocket retro-propulsive re-entry with landing is science and tech NASA really really wants, and will need for future missions. They lack funding to do it on such a scale themselves, so they are happy to give SpaceX a little more time to improve the odds.

    • mattmcc80 says:

      This is what public-private partnership should look like. Here’s SpaceX doing something NASA would love to be able to do, but can’t. However, NASA does have much more sophisticated equipment, so they can bring that to the party and share their results.

    • Robert Gishubl says:

      Yes NASA are forced to spend $3B per year on SLS & Orion so have no funds for all the cool stuff like retro propulsive landing, fuel depot, deep space habitat, space tug etc. It is cool because it has not been done before.
      I really really want to see that rocket land. First though it needs to launch and get Dragon space-borne.

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