Zoe: Get her running “again?”
Zoe: Sooo… not running now?
Mal: Not so much… But she will.
— Firefly, “Out of Gas”
Scrubbed launches and launch delays are just a fact of life in the space industry. Spaceships are complex vehicles that rely on a lot of intricate mechanisms to function properly, and if any one of those systems, no matter how small, isn’t in perfect working order, it can spell disaster out in the black. We fans of science-fiction have become accustomed to the portrayal of spaceships like Serenity or the Millennium Falcon as the “lovable bucket of bolts,” but the truth is very far from what Hollywood has sold us, and when dealing with a real space launch, if there is even the slightest chance that everything isn’t absolutely perfect, then safe is better than sorry.
And so SpaceX’s CRS-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station was delayed yet again today. This time the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket that was to carry the Dragon capsule to the ISS was scrubbed due to a first stage Helium leak. SpaceX expects to have the problem rectified in time for the next launch opportunity, which will be Friday, April 18 at 3:25pm EST.
And when the Dragon does finally break atmo for CRS-3, you can bet we’ll be tuned in, watching in wonder…
We all know that in crime, politics and space flight the situation is always fluid, but NASA and SpaceX announced earlier today that the CRS-3 Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station (the very same mission we told you all about in our recent posts) is in fact a GO for tomorrow, Monday, April 14, 2014.
The launch is scheduled for 4:58PM, EST. Updates and a live webcast of the launch itself can be found here:
If you’re following us on Twitter, we plan to make every effort to live tweet the launch as it happens. If you’d like to share in our virtual launch party, there’s still time to follow us at @TakeBacktheSky.
We hope you’ll join us as we watch the ship that will one day be called Serenity break atmo tomorrow evening!
“Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty—not destroy it!”—Yuri Gagarin, first man in space
By the time this post hits the web, “Yuri’s Night” celebrations will already be in full swing around the planet.
Every year on April 12, people the world over hold parties and other events to celebrate mankind’s achievements in space. Some of these events are full-on, blowout shindigs with all manner of craziness, while others focus more on education and outreach. Continue Reading
Ni hao, travelers,
We’re pushing this out there to make sure no one misses that the launch this weekend has been delayed at least into next week, no firm date yet.
There’s nothing wrong with the Falcon rocket or Dragon craft, the onus for this actually lies with the United States Air Force and range issues. For those of you playing the home game, “range issues” refer to things like tracking radar and sensors “downrange” that track the rockets lifting off from Kennedy Space Center from after takeoff as it ascends over the Atlantic. There apparently was a fire at the USAF radar station in question on Monday, and it seems they never really finished fixing the dish that caused said fire when it shorted out.
The announcement comes as an Atlas V rocket carrying a national security payload on a different pad had to be delayed for the same reasons.
SpaceX is still keeping their live feed up in case their big miracle happens, and will no doubt have the new “T-0″ launch time up the moment they decide on it. In the meantime, we wouldn’t want to rob you of rocket goodness, so enjoy this footage of the previous CRS-2 launch:
This coming weekend is another launch for SpaceX, the developers of the revolutionary Falcon rocket (which they freely admit to naming after the Millenium Falcon) and the Dragon spacecraft that’s the focus of our campaign here at Take Back the Sky. This particular flight, however, could be called their most important one to date for a number of reasons. Most people don’t keep up with this stuff anymore, so we’re devoting today’s installment to giving you some background before the weekend’s fireworks.
We’d like to thank everyone who responded to our call for enthusiastic folk who are willing to help Take Back the Sky increase its presence at cons this year. If you are one of those who answered the call, rest assured you’ll be hearing back from us very soon so we can schedule a conference call and provide you with the materials and helpful advice you’ll need in order to get the most out of your tabling experience. We here at Take Back the Sky are grateful for your support, and the support of Browncoats everywhere in the ‘verse, as we aim to make history!
The Take Back the Sky table at the 2013 Pittsburgh Comicon.
The new year has brought some big changes here at Take Back the Sky–welcome ones, that is, that will allow us to do more to get our ship out of atmo. The biggest and most important change of all is that we’re expanding in preparation for the 2014 con season.
Take Back the Sky’s Christopher Tobias with Summer Glau, Wizard World Philadelphia 2013