T-6 minutes: engine cooling starts
Phase 1 engine cooling has begun. Liquid oxygen flows through the Merlin 1’s turbo pumps.
With just under 6 minutes to launch, the stage 1 fuel load is complete.
Dragon’s computers will soon take control of the vehicle.
Take-off will take place at 27 minutes and 17 seconds after 19:00 local time.
The fuel loading of stage 2 is complete.
Phase 1 is 90% complete.
At T-7 minutes the pre-valves will be opened. This will allow a small amount of oxygen to cool the pumps so that the liquid oxygen does not turn into gas on contact with the turbo pump.
Here is a shot inside the capsule:
“We are honored to have you as our crew,” Commander Mike Hopkins told the crew.
Today’s launch will take 27.5 hours to arrive at the station.
The day started with a 50% chance of throwing and now that chance (which is based on time) is 80%.
The only female astronaut on board, Shannon Walker, who has a PhD in space physics, was four when she decided she wanted to be an astronaut, we just heard.
He told Florida Today: “Ultimately, to me being an astronaut means being an explorer to explore the universe, so I thought that being a physicist who wanted to understand the universe and then be an explorer to go out and see it firsthand. that was what I really wanted. to do. “
The four astronauts on board are Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).
Noguchi is the first foreign astronaut authorized to board a US spacecraft.
T-28 minutes: check
We just heard that the rain and the altitude wind are holding up, and the land winds are weak.
Ground operations teams are carrying out a series of checks.
T-34 minutes: refueling begins
Refueling of the Falcon 9 rocket is underway and the launch escape system is armed, which means that the eight “Super-draco” engines built into Dragon are loaded, which means they can push the crew away from the Falcon 9. towards safety in an emergency.
The fuel is kerosene, with an oxidizer.
To ignite the fuel and oxidizer, the ignition fluid is used. This fuel emits a green flash, which we may see tonight.
The dragon capsule was loaded with propellants a week and a half ago, in what one of the voiceovers on NASA’s live feed says it is an area affectionately called “dragon land.”
T-43 minutes: crew arm retracted
The tunnel the crew used to board the Dragon has been withdrawn, in what the voiceover on NASA’s live feed of the launch called “One of the last visual milestones we have until launch”:
T-40 minutes: 80% chance of good weather
40 minutes have passed as I write and the four crew members are on board. They are launching from platform 39A, the weather report has been updated with an 80% chance of good weather and the launch director is awaiting the results of the “Go / no-go survey” or a check of the launch status .
The propellant loading will occur at T-35 minutes.
The Dragon Pod prepares for launch
The SpaceX crew is hooked up and prepares for launch in approximately 45 minutes.
SpaceX is aiming for a Sunday night launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station, even though the prospects for good weather were only 50-50 and the company’s leader, Elon Musk, was sidelined by Covid-19.
If it goes ahead, the launch will be NASA’s first full-fledged mission that will send a crew into orbit aboard a privately owned spacecraft. The company’s newly developed Crew Dragon capsule took off at 7:27 pm Eastern time (0027 GMT on Monday).
Below is our round-up of what’s expected and I’ll give you the latest live developments in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
You can find me on Twitter @helenrsullivan.