Feeds

SpaceX test-fires Falcon 9 rocket as Dragon sleeps

Launch rescheduling confirmed for 7 May

Build a business case: developing custom apps

NASA and SpaceX have confirmed that the new launch date for the blastoff of the Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station will be 7 May.

Artist's impression of the Dragon at the ISS

Liftoff was supposed to happen today, after it was supposed to happen on February 7, after it was expected before the end of last year.

The Falcon 9 rocket will now boost the Dragon into orbit on 7 May at 9.38am EDT (13.35 GMT/14.35 BST).

During the flight, the craft will have to test and prove its ability to rendezvous and berth with the ISS before it'll be allowed to actually give it a shot. This newest delay, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, was to do more testing on that docking code.

The Dragon has already proved it can take off and land, but the software required to get the craft to pull in alongside the fast-moving ISS and dock with it is tricky stuff.

Instead of the launch, SpaceX is using today to do a static fire test, which it will be webcasting from 14.30 EDT (18.30 GMT/19.30 BST), with the actual blast scheduled for 15.00 EDT (19.00 GMT/20.00 BST). This is a rehearsal for the actual launch and will be counted down by engineers just like the real thing.

SpaceX said again today that the 7 May launch would be the first attempt by a commercial firm to send a spacecraft to the ISS, so there was no guarantee it would run smoothly.

"Success is not guaranteed. If any aspect of the mission is not successful, SpaceX will learn from the experience and try again," the company said in a canned statement. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.