It has begun

Photo credit: Jesper Rais Photo credit: Jesper Rais Photo credit: Jesper Rais Photo credit: Jesper Rais

The assembling of the hardware has started at 1 am. The boxes need to asembled and then sterilized by pumping water trough it. Thereafter, the serum and cells need to be added before closing the boxes and connecting them to the computer control system.Photo credit: Jesper Rais

Computer breakdown

Yesterday afternoon we learned that currently a backup computer on the ISS is not functioning. Today around noon the decision will be made whether to launch or not on Monday. If it’s postponed again no new launch window will be available before early June. We have no more fingers to cross…

Warm-up for assembly marathon

Tonight is the big night in the lab. The cells have to be tugged into the cell boxes together with extra “cell food” and a special fixation fluid which will chemically freeze the cells after the ten day experiment run. It is crucial that the hardware is assembled correctly, and Jessica together with Stefan will spend 8 hours starting at 2 am this night on the task. 36 hours before launch is the handover of the hardware to SpaceX.

As for today, it’s all about spending as little energy as possible. Lucky, we are only a few 100 meters from the beach….

Oh, and SpaceX managers yesterday official gave a final “go” for a Monday launch. Weather forecasters estimate approx. 70 % chance of “go weather”.

April launch date confirmed

The new launch date is now officially April 14.

From NASA website “The company’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft, will lift off at approximately 4:58 p.m EDT [22.58 CEST]. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 3:45 p.m. If for any reason the launch is postponed, the next launch opportunity is Friday, April 18 at approximately 3:25 p.m.”

Live TV of the launch: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV will also provide live coverage on Wednesday, April 16, of the arrival of the Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station. Grapple and berthing coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m. with grapple at 7 a.m. Berthing coverage begins at 9:30 a.m.

 

Rocket launch coordination

With the radar fixed, two rockets are now fighting for the same launch windows.
The Atlas V rocket Is part of a dual mission with the first rocket being launched today from Vanderberg Air Force Base in California. If launched, the second rocket from Kennedy Space Center needs to go up Thursday April 10. This means SpaceX-3 will be postponed until April 14.

Follow the first launch of Altas V here:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Webcast.shtml

 

Tornado

Saturday, the remaining group in Cape Canaveral got a taste of the southern wild weather as a tornado warning took them by surprise. Jürgen and Christian from Airbus were leaving for Germany but before the flight they took a trip to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge together with Jessica. They noticed the dark clouds as they entered into the wild, and they noticed the rain approaching though they didn’t connect it with danger. The wind picked up and suddenly Christian received a tornado warning on his phone. “Take cover now! If you wait to hear or see it coming…it might be too late to get to a safe place” was some of the wording. They all rushed home. No tornado was seen and Christian and Jürgen made it home to Germany in safety.

rain alligator

A not so nervous Alligator. Maybe it has seen a tornado or two already.

Tornado warning

Tornado warning on Christian’s phone