It's time for another SpaceX launch and although this morning (technically early tomorrow morning) is not as historic as the Falcon Heavy, it's always impressive to have a Falcon 9 with supplies for the International Space Station see. But bad weather threatens to delay the delivery.
CRS-17 brings two tons of supplies and other items to the ISS including the new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3, an algae production experiment for human consumption (you will not try it this time) and a cool one new multi-experiment platform for microgravity called Hermes.
The full scientific payload is described in this blog entry by NASA a few weeks ago. Of course, the dragon capsule (also this was flown in August 201
The launch is less than 24 hours after SpaceX made a statement regarding the explosion of a Crew Dragon capsule during the test. The cause of the "anomaly" is not yet clear, but it is important to know that this is a completely different platform than the now established and reliable combination of Falcon 9 and Cargo Dragon, which has flown dozens of commercial missions. Takeoff is 3:11 am Eastern Time at Cape Canaveral, with streams starting about 45 minutes earlier – but there's a good chance that today's launch will be overshadowed by bad weather.
"We have an area of disrupted weather overseeing the Bahamas in recent days, and this area of disrupted weather is invading the space coast," said Air Force officer Will Ulrich in a NASA update. There is currently a chance of about 40 percent for a successful start.
This would be the second delay for CRS-17, which was postponed from the 1st to the 3rd of April at the end of April. Do not worry – the ISS crew has more than enough to get through for a long time. The next starting opportunity would also be within 24 hours. We will update this post when the launch is finalized.
If you try, you can view the start below: