Next SpaceX launch officially rescheduled for March 30

The launch of the next SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station is back on for the evening of March 30, NASA and SpaceX confirmed Friday. The launch, which had been scheduled for the early morning hours of March 16, was postponed a few days before launch after engineers detected contamination in the unpressurized “trunk” section of the Dragon spacecraft. The contamination was said to be a concern for two payloads being carried to the station in the trunk, a laser communications experiment and a high-definition camera system.

However, SpaceX and NASA determined that the contamination was not an issue, and that the Dragon can launch “as-is,” Florida Today reported, citing a statement it received from the company. “All parties agree that the particular constituents observed in Dragon’s trunk are in line with the previously defined environments levels and do not impose additional risk to the payloads,” that SpaceX statement (not widely distributed to media, nor posted on its website) continued.

The launch is now scheduled for 10:50 pm EDT Sunday, March 30 (0250 GMT March 31), with a backup launch date of 9:39 pm EDT April 2 (0139 GMT April 3) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. There appear to be no other significant changes to the mission, the third of twelve currently contracted by NASA to SpaceX to ferry cargo to and from the ISS.

3 comments to Next SpaceX launch officially rescheduled for March 30

  • Gary Warburton

    A lot of people will be watching this flight to see how successful the first stage water landing attempt will be. If it is successful I think there is bound to be a real shake up of the space industry. If they make it, will they be tempted to try to land it on land next time?

  • Dick Eagleson

    That would be the logical next step, yes. Assuming success on 3/30, it would be nice to see SpaceX try a feet-dry return to launch site sometime this summer.

  • Neil

    They’ve got a number of flights this year to prove out this approach. I think Elon and/or Gwynne have reckoned on about 50:50 chance of success but they seem to have been downplaying such things recently.
    I also thought they had quite of bit of regulatory stuff still to get through before they could do a land attempt and I haven’t actually heard of where they plan to do the first land attempt.
    I would think also that they’ll want to be able to repeat success on water at least a few times before going for land but their risk appetite may be higher.
    Good luck anyways.

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