JCSAT-16 is a commercial communications satellite that will be heading to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit on our Falcon 9 rocket. Our secondary mission objective includes a first-stage landing attempt on the droneship "Of Course I Still Love You," which will be on station in the Atlantic.
Weather is now 80% favorable for launch, which is targeted for 1:26am EDT Sunday, 10:26pm PDT Saturday. Tune in for our webcast 20 minutes before at www.spacex.com/webcast.
The backbone of Dragon 2 is a metallic welded pressure vessel. SpaceX has completed manufacturing of the first two pressure vessels to be used for ground testing, and is currently manufacturing two Crew Dragon flight articles. The pressure vessel is the primary structure of the spacecraft that protects astronauts during ascent, while in outer space, and during entry and landing to provide a safe and controlled environment in which to travel and work.
Here is a picture of the first test article undergoing structural load testing. This demonstrates the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the tremendous forces it’s exposed to during space flight.
When we transport astronauts on Crew Dragon to the International Space Station next year, it will be within one of these pressure vessels that over the coming months will turn into a fully functional spacecraft.
Falcon 9's first stage also landed on our Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic.
More pics of tonight’s launch and first-stage landing will become available here → www.flickr.com/spacex
More pics of launch and landing → www.flickr.com/spacex
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of making life multiplanetary. In 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to send a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to Earth. In May 2012, SpaceX again made history when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle to successfully attach to the International Space Station, something previously accomplished only by governments. In October 2012 and March 2013, Dragon again successfully delivered cargo to and from the space station in its first two official cargo resupply missions for NASA.
For more information, visit www.spacex.com.