From: SpaceX <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 5:26 AM
Subject: TODAY: SpaceX to Make First Launch Attempt for COTS Demo 1
Hawthorne, CA – Today SpaceX released the following information on today’s launch day activities for the first SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.
SpaceX will make its first launch attempt on TODAY, December 8th from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends from 9:03 AM to 12:20 PM. EST/ 6:03 AM to 9:20 AM PST. We are now counting down for a 9:06 AM EST attempt.
SpaceX has discovered the root cause of the two small cracks in the aft end of the 2nd stage engine nozzle extension. A GN2 vent line caused fluttering of the the thinnest portion of the nozzle extension, creating the cracks. SpaceX engineers repaired the extension by trimming off the end where the cracks are located and corrected the root cause by diffusing the vent.
SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The Dragon capsule is expected to orbit the Earth at speeds greater than 17,000 miles per hour, reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, and land in the Pacific Ocean roughly 3 1/2 hours later. This will be the first attempt by a commercial company to recover a spacecraft reentering from low-Earth orbit. It is a feat performed by only 6 nations or government agencies: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and the European Space Agency.
U.S. media wishing to attend the launch day viewing must be credentialed through NASA following the instructions in the NASA advisory below. On launch day, the NASA News Center at the KSC press site will open at 6 a.m. For launch viewing, reporters and photographers will be taken to from the KSC press site to the NASA Causeway between stations C & D by bus. The bus will leave the press site for NASA Causeway at L-1 hour and will return to the press site once Falcon 9/Dragon are no longer visible.
- Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President
- Phil McAlister, NASA Commercial Space Flight Development Acting Director
- Alan Lindenmoyer, NASA Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Manager
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