Falcon 9 / Dragon Launch at 3:45AM EST (UPDATE: Success!)

UPDATE: They did it!!

For those of you awake right now, Spacex's Falcon 9 rocket with Dragon capsule will be launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida in less than an hour. If successful, this mission will see the first private spacecraft docking at the ISS. Check out the webcast and live text/video updates from SpaceFlightNow:

http://www.spacex.com/webcast/

http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html

Dragon won't be docking with the ISS until Friday so don't wait up for it tonight. You'll see the Falcon 9 launch, taking just under 10 minutes to reach orbit at which point Dragon will separate from the second stage of the rocket. Depending on video Tx range, we may also get to see the solar arrays deploying (even the big guys have trouble with FPV!) After the video cuts out there should be a press conference discussing what happened and explaining any anomalies.

As a former SpaceX engineer, I'd be glad to answer any questions (on publicly available info) people have about the launch. Wish them luck!

Views: 868

Tags: 9, dragon, falcon, rocket, spacex

Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 22, 2012 at 1:59am

That was exciting. So many low cost spacecraft have failed at so many points. The solar panel deployment was a real nail biter.  A lot can go wrong before docking & the international partners won't allow any Apollo 13 hacking to make it dock if something does go wrong.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 22, 2012 at 3:17am

The obvious question is why you left SpaceX & who normally gets in.  As one who tried & failed 5 times to get in, reading about John Muratore & watching whoever was on the webcast give their biographies, it definitely comes across as equivalent to getting into the astronaut core.  Military service, lots of grad school, many years in high profile aerospace projects are normal.

Comment by Ben Levitt on May 22, 2012 at 10:35am

Here's a guy who got video of the launch from his FPV radian.  What a great idea!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KburnQRulRQ

Comment by Jeff Taylor on May 22, 2012 at 11:08am

As the update above says, the launch was successful and we even saw the solar arrays deploy completely on live video, very exciting!!

@Jack Right, there are still a lot of steps to go through before docking so the mission is by no means over. I left because although it was extremely exciting to to be a part of, I have always wanted to start my own projects (www.event38.com   :) ). Elon is big on hiring very young engineers as much as possible. Most of my colleagues were around my age, 22-27, and had little prior experience. I entered fresh out of school (BS Aerospace Eng) and it was something of a miracle that I did get in.

@Monroe Prometheus sounds awesome! I'd love to see some of that stuff open sourced ;)

Wow awesome FPV video! That's likely to scare some people though :)


T3
Comment by Rory Paul on May 22, 2012 at 11:44am

@Jeff

Sorry I clicked on your event38.com add on FB and cost you a couple of cents...sorry! ; )

Comment by Jeff Taylor on May 22, 2012 at 12:34pm

Haha no problem, I'm targeting the right people at least!

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 22, 2012 at 12:50pm

Jack, it's obvious why Jeff left SpaceX, to join 3DR of course.

Anyone remember the show in 1979, called "Salvage 1"?  It was about a guy to made started a space salvage company with a rocket made out of junk yard parts.  SpaceX is the real thing, except they're not using junk yard parts, I hope. ;-)  Great achievement!

Comment by j.baum53 on May 22, 2012 at 12:53pm

looks like they did it!

spaceX is truely one of the most awesome companies in the world, since the government has given up on anything outside the atmosphere, these guys (and others like them) seem to be the last hope for american spaceflight.

Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 23, 2012 at 4:03pm

Now that the complete webcast has been uploaded

We can see John Insprucker was the other Air Force guy, in addition to John Muratore.  So they seemed to go from the traditional college graduates of a startup to pretty experienced celebrities.  Pretty ecstatic audience when the solar arrays deployed at 56:00.  You know that was where a lot of low cost spaceships failed.

Comment by Jeff Taylor on May 25, 2012 at 9:21am

Dragon made it to the ISS!!

NASA TV Live Video of Dragon on Station

Pictures of the Berthing Process

Congratulations to the SpaceX team! The biggest milestone of this mission is successfully completed.

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