Crew Dragon’s first critical flight test, known as a Pad Abort Test, is expected to take place on Wednesday, May 6, from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida. While the test is originating from the same launch pad we use for operational missions, this is not an operational flight. This will be the first flight test of SpaceX’s revolutionary new launch abort system, and the odds of encountering delays or issues are high. Fortunately the test doesn’t need to be perfect to be valuable—our primary objective is to capture as much data as possible as the data captured here will be key in preparing Crew Dragon for its first human missions in 2017. More information about the test can be found at: http://www.spacex.com/news/2015/05/04…
NASA has seen an initial delay in the launch of the Orion Spacecraft due to a boat in the range, and then 2 subsequent delays due to wind violations. The launch window extends until 9:44 am EST. Livestream the launch here!
Liftoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
Cygnus is loaded with about 5,000 pounds of science investigations, food, supplies and hardware for the space station and its crew.
A launch this evening will result in Cygnus catching up to the space station on Sunday, Nov. 2. Cygnus will be grappled at approximately 4:58 a.m. by NASA crew members Reid Wiseman and Barry “Butch” Wilmore. Cygnus will be attached to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony node and will remain in place approximately one month. It is scheduled depart the space station on Dec. 3.