Archives For crs-2

I represented Pinehead as a part of a recent NASA Social event which allowed social media users access on the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to cover the SpaceX CRS-2 launch on Friday, March 1. The day before the launch we were shown the Vehicle Assembly Building, launch pads, attended press conferences and science briefings, and had Q&A time with NASA officials.

If you think about space travel in the United States today, the outlook can seem dismal. The most recent major news about NASA has been the Shuttle retirement and the $726 million NASA will lose to sequestration. It’s no wonder people think NASA is closing down. What I discovered during my time KCS is, while budgets and active programs may be reduced, momentum at NASA has not been shaken.

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I’m so happy to announce that I’m going to be able to cover the launch from Cape Canaveral!! NASA chooses up to 50 social media users and grants them the same access to the launch as new media. The goal is to align the experience of the two media groups recognizing social media groups can reach audiences traditional news media may not.

The launch is currently scheduled for Friday, March 1 at 10:10 EST. The day before the launch there will be a whole day of briefings of press conferences so I will be bringing you updates through out the day.

Have questions about the launch, Falcon 9, Dragon, or Space Station? Post your questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get them answered. Looks like we will go to:

  • Ground Systems Briefing
  • ISS Science Press Conference
  • Heliophysics News Briefing (will be broadcast on NASA TV)
  • Pre-launch Press Conference.

We will also be meeting with Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, and Jim Adams, NASA’s deputy chief technologist.

 

FREE T-SHIRTS! WHAT?

That’s right, if you show Pinehead and Tyra some love and re-tweet some of the live tweets that are going on, we are giving away a boat load of shirts! How many? Not sure, probably at least ten!

SpaceX is eleven years old, has six successful launches on the books, and forty-one missions scheduled between now and 2017. Their next mission, CRS-2, for NASA is scheduled for launch on March 1. This launch is the second of twelve contracted between NASA and SpaceX to completed by 2015.

Still frame from the CRS-1 webcast of the Falcon 9 pressure relief panels being ejected.

Still frame from the CRS-1 webcast of the Falcon 9 pressure relief panels being ejected.

The Falcon 9 and Dragon last flew in October 2012. The Dragon docked successfully with the International Space Station (ISS) and came back to earth safely. What seemed to get the most press coverage during the mission was an issue being reported as an engine explosion. About a minute and nineteen seconds into the CRS-1 launch there was what looked like an engine explosion. This was not an explosion but an example of Falcon 9 redundancy in action. The Falcon rocket detected a sudden loss in pressure in Merlin engine 1 and issued a command to shutdown. The burst, debris, and plume of smoke were the pressure relief panels being ejected to protect engine 1 and surrounding engines. The flight computer then recalculated a new ascent profile and the Dragon continued on to the ISS.

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