SpaceX Falcon 9 Lifts off on CRS-3 Mission to ISS

Image Credit NASA

The weather front stretching from north Alabama to nearly the Florida Keys held off to the west today, allowing SpaceX and NASA the window they needed to get the CRS-3 mission safely off the ground and on its way to the International Space Station.

Lifting off under cloudy skies at precisely 3:25:22 pm EDT from Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40, the first SpaceX Falcon 9 V1.1 to carry a Dragon spacecraft made a nominal ascent to orbit, successfully releasing the Dragon into free flight, with the twin solar panels deploying moments later.  There was no immediate word on the state of recovery efforts for the the first stage, with both NASA and SpaceX launch broadcasts terminating with no additional information on this highly anticipated attempt.

If events follow previous patterns, word might come via Elon Musk’s Twitter account.

As for the Dragon itself, laden with nearly 5,000 lbs. of supplies, including some badly needed gasket materials for a spacewalk which will take place on April 23rd.  Dragon rendezvous is expected to take place on Sunday, Easter morning at 7:14 am. As before, Dragon will be “captured” by the robotic arm, operated this time by Space Station Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio, where it will be berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.

NASA television will cover the event, beginning at 5:45 am.

Updates to come

Posted in: SpaceX

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