SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon were rolled to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 overnight and rotated vertical at about 8 a.m. EDT. Launch is targeted for 3:25 p.m. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m. A launch on Friday results in a rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday, April 20 and a grapple at 7:14 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m. with berthing coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 40 percent chance of favorable conditions for the launch of SpaceX-3 to the International Space Station today. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms that could cause violations of the Thick Cloud, Lightning and Flight Through Precipitation rules. For a backup launch opportunity on Saturday the weather is 60 percent “go” with a possibility of violating the Thick Cloud, Liftoff Winds and Flight Through Precipitation rules. For a potential opportunity – if selected – on April 22, there is an 80 percent chance of favorable weather with a possibility of violating the Cumulus Cloud and Thick Cloud rules. The detailed weather forecast is below.
If needed, launch on Saturday would occur at 3:02 p.m. NASA Television coverage would begin at 2 p.m. This would be a three-day trek to the station instead of two days with grapple on Tuesday, April 22. Weather is forecast to improve to 60 percent “go” on Saturday.
Below the weather forecast is a timeline from launch through berthing.
At 9:30 a.m., NASA TV will carry a briefing from Johnson Space Center in Houston to preview a spacewalk that will be conducted by two NASA astronauts aboard the station in the coming week. The spacewalkers will replace a failed backup computer relay system on the space station's truss.
The briefing participants are:
-- Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager
-- Brian Smith, International Space Station flight director
-- Glenda Brown, lead spacewalk officer
For the latest information on the SpaceX-3 mission, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/spacex
For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv