Launch of Falcon 9/Dragon to ISS, Credit: SpaceX On Tuesday morning, SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon 9rocket, shooting the Dragon capsule into orbit. This launch missionis part of NASA’s COTS program, where the agency will work with private companies to sendcargo to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as helpadvance the private spaceflight industry. On May 19, the Falcon 9 flight computers aborted the launch of the 2nd COTS mission at the last moment after detecting higherthan normal pressure the combustion chamber of engine 5. According to SpaceX , the problem was caused by a faulty check valve –a valve that only allows a material to flow in one direction–onthe Falcon 9’s Merlin engine. Neodymium Rod Magnets
Although the abort was unfortunate, it’s better to be safe thansorry. SpaceX fixed up the problem and rescheduled the flight forthis morning at 12:44am PDT, or 3:44am EDT. At 44 minutes (T-0) after the hour, the Falcon 9’s engines lit upwith a brilliant flame and the Falcon 9 lifted off the pad. Aboutthree minutes after launch, the main engine terminated its burn andthe first stage of the Falcon 9 dropped off, followed shortly afterby the ignition of the second stage. Sintered SmCo Magnets
Six minutes later, the Dragoncapsule entered orbit and deployed its solar array system. So what’s next? Over the next couple days, the Dragon capsule willmove closer and closer to the ISS and along the way the Dragon’ssensors and systems will perform a number of tests to make surethat everything is working properly. If it is, then the Dragon willatttempt to dock with the ISS, where astronauts abord the stationwill load and unload cargo. The Dragon will then return to Earth. China Flexible Rubber Magnets
If this mission is successful, SpaceX will begin fullfilling ordersfor NASA for cargo trips to the ISS. Make sure to check out NASA , SpaceX , and the video below for the full scoop. Your browser does not support iframes. [ SpaceX , NASA / Video: Spacevidcast (YouTube)] Follow James Mulroy on Twitter and on StumbleUpon to get the latest in microbe , dinosaur , and death ray news.
Like this? You might also enjoy… Liquid Solar Cells: An Innovative Hazard Street Tweeter Lets You Print Your G8 Summit Message on Roads Student With Rare Illness Attends Normal Classes Thanks to aTelepresence Robot Get more GeekTech: Twitter – Facebook – RSS | Tip us off.