Here is a replay of the Space X Dragon cargo ship departing the International Space Station. The cargo ship was released at about 05:11 EDT / 09:11 UTC (if my time conversion is correct).
The Dragon will NOT burn up in the atmosphere as some ships do. The returning 5,400 + Lb / 2,450 + kg payload includes samples from a variety of scientific experiments.
The thrusters on Dragon will fire at around 10:00 EDT / 14:00 UTC commencing a deorbit burn which will send the ship into the Pacific Ocean 54 minutes later where it will be retrieved and returned by recovery teams.
As far as I know there will be no live coverage of the splashdown and recovery, however there could be video after the fact.
WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?? I was out of town and following things along on my phone and this happens – it was just a static fire.
From this video it looks like the initial anomaly occurred at the upper stage near the vent. I am waiting to hear what actually happened. The video below from the BBC is excellent, but watch quick because there isn’t any lag to the incident.
So what could happen to cause this? I can’t wait to find out. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility the vented gases were ignited someplace external to the rocket and therefore not point to a issue with the rocket itself. Sherlock Holmes I am not, but when I hear the news I did not expect the incident to start from the upper part of the rocket. WOW!
UPDATE SpaceX confirms the location of the initiating event (upper stages) and the incident occurred during fueling.
The SpaceX Dragon CRS-9 commercial cargo ship left the International Space Station a couple days ago on 26 August. The cargo ship was released from the Canadarm2 (really good views of the arm too) off Australia at 10:11 UTC.
The Dragon successfully splashed down in the Pacific around 482 km / 300 miles from the Baja of California with science and research cargo, and has been recovered.
SpaceX was supposed to launch the JCSat-14 today from Cape Canaveral Florida however due to weather concerns the launch as been moved to Friday 06 May at 05:20 UTC. That particular time is also 01:20 ET which means this will be a night time launch. Lucky us!
The JCSat-14 is a communications satellite to serve the Asia Pacific region. The satellite will replace an older satellite at 154 degrees East longitude and provide improved capabilities.
The picture above is the SpaceX launch of DSCOVR, it’s one of my favorites.