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Tue, Jan 17, 2012

SpaceX Dragon Flight To ISS Postponed

No New Launch Date Set For COTS 2 And 3 Demos

SpaceX's much anticipated launch of an unmanned Dragon spacecraft to dock with ISS has been postponed, with no new launch date set for the test.

SpaceX had gotten permission from NASA to combine the COTS 2 and 3 demonstration flights into one. The launch date had originally been set for February 7th, but that launch has been pushed back to allow for what's being called "due diligence" and "safety checks" for the spacecraft.

The C2 demo will bring the spacecraft to near proximity of ISS, a fly-by of about two miles. If that is accomplished satisfactorily, then the C3 demo ... an actual docking of the Dragon to the ISS, can proceed. The spacecraft would be grappled with the station's robotic arm and brought in to berth with the station's Harmony module. The spacecraft will carry non-essential supplies for the demonstration. If any portion of the C2 demonstration has a major issue, the C/3 demonstration will be pushed to a later flight.

NASASpaceflight.com reports that there has been no specific reason for the delay. SpaceX said in a news release that “We are now working with NASA to establish a new target launch date, but note that we will continue to test and review data. We will launch when the vehicle is ready.”

FMI: www.spacex.com


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