CRS-5 Dragon on approach to the ISS
|Mission type||ISS resupply|
|Mission duration||Planned: 1 month
Elapsed: 32 days
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||10 January 2015, 09:47:10 UTC|
|Rocket||Falcon 9 v1.1|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-40|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||11 February 2015, 00:44 UTC|
|Perigee||410 km (250 mi)|
|Apogee||418 km (260 mi)|
|Epoch||12 January 2015, 09:01:38 UTC|
|Berthing at ISS|
|Berthing port||Harmony nadir|
|RMS capture||12 January 2015, 10:54 UTC|
|Berthing date||12 January 2015, 13:54 UTC|
|Unberthing date||10 February 2015, 17:11 UTC|
|RMS release||10 February 2015, 19:10 UTC|
|Time berthed||29 days, 3 hours, 17 minutes|
SpaceX CRS-5, also known as SpX-5, was a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, conducted by SpaceX for NASA, and was launched on 10 January 2015 and ended on 11 February 2015. It was the seventh flight for SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft and the fifth SpaceX operational mission contracted to NASA under an ISS resupply services contract.
By July 2014, the launch was scheduled by NASA for "no earlier than" December 2014, with docking to the station projected to occur two days after launch. Originally scheduled for a 16 December 2014, launch, the mission was changed to 19 December 2014, in order to give SpaceX more preparation time for a successful launch. The launch was postponed again to NET 6 January 2015, in order to allow more tests before committing to a firm launch date.
On 6 January 2015, the launch attempt was placed on hold at 1 minute 21 seconds prior to scheduled lift-off after a member of the launch team noticed actuator drift on one of two thrust vector control systems of the Falcon 9 second stage engine. As this launch had an instantaneous launch window, meaning no delays are possible in the launch sequence, the flight was postponed to 9 January 2015. On 7 January, the flight was rescheduled for 10 January 2015.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the CRS-5 Dragon spacecraft successfully launched on 10 January 2015 at 9:47 UTC. Dragon reached the station on 12 January. It was grappled by the Space Station Remote Manipulator System at 10:54 UTC and berthed to the Harmony module at 13:56 UTC.
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The Dragon spacecraft for CRS-5 carried 2,317 kilograms (5,108 lb) of cargo to the ISS. Included in this was 490 kg (1,080 lb) of provisions and equipment for the crew, 717 kg (1,581 lb) of station hardware, 577 kg (1,272 lb) of science equipment and experiments, and the 494 kg (1,089 lb) Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS).
CATS is a LIDAR remote sensing instrument designed to measure the location, composition and distribution of pollution, dust, smoke, aerosols and other particulates in the atmosphere. CATS is to be installed on the Kibo external facility and is expected to run for at least six months, and up to three years.
Post-launch flight test
In an unprecedented test flight, SpaceX attempted to return the nearly-empty first stage of the Falcon 9 through the atmosphere and land it on a 90-by-50-meter (300 ft × 160 ft) floating platform called the autonomous spaceport drone ship. In October 2014, SpaceX had revealed that the ship was being built for SpaceX in Louisiana, and by mid-December, the ship was docked in Jacksonville, Florida, ready to go to sea to support the test flight landing attempt.
Results of first landing attempt
SpaceX attempted a landing on the drone ship on 10 January. Many of the test objectives were achieved, including precision control of the rocket's descent to land on the platform at a specific point in the south Atlantic ocean and a large amount of test data was obtained from the first use of grid fin control surfaces used for more precise reentry positioning. However, the landing was a hard landing and SpaceX is currently working to recover parts of the vehicle for testing and analysis. Full details of what happened to the rocket are not yet publicly known; Musk himself has said that one of the possible problems was the grid fins running out of hydraulic fluid.
The SpaceX webcast indicated that the boostback burn and reentry burns for the descending first stage occurred, and that the descending rocket then went "below the horizon," as expected, which eliminated the live telemetry signal. Shortly thereafter, SpaceX released information that the rocket did get to the drone spaceport ship as planned, but "landed hard ... Ship itself is fine. Some of the support equipment on the deck will need to be replaced." SpaceX made a video of the landing attempt available on Vine.
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- Bergin, Chris (17 December 2014). "SpaceX confirms CRS-5 launch slip to January 6". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 2014-12-18.
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- Graham, William (10 January 2015). "CRS-5 Dragon successfully launched – Core ASDS landing attempted". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
- Bergin, Chris (12 January 2015). "ISS berths SpaceX's Dragon following speedy arrival". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
- "Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS)". Cats.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
- "NASA - Cloud-Aerosol Transport System". Nasa.gov. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
- "ISS to get Cloud Aerosol Transport System, a laser cannon - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
- Clark, Stephen (10 January 2015). "Dragon successfully launched, rocket recovery demo crash lands". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Foust, Jeff (25 October 2014). "Next Falcon 9 Launch Could See First-stage Platform Landing". Space News. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
- Clark, Stephen (16 December 2014). "Photos: SpaceX's autonomous spaceport drone ship". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
- Kramer, Miriam (12 January 2015). "SpaceX's Elon Musk Says Rocket Landing Test Ran Out of Hydraulic Fluid". Space.com. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Musk, Elon. "Post-launch Twitter news releases". SpaceX. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho.", "Ship itself is fine. Some of the support equipment on the deck will need to be replaced.", "Didn't get good landing/impact video. Pitch dark and foggy. Will piece it together from telemetry and ... actual pieces.
- "Close, but no cigar. This time.". SpaceX. Vine. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
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