Tomorrow’s launch of SpaceX-5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, has been scrubbed, and reset for NET (No Earlier Than) January 6, 2015. SpaceX-5 is to carry Yankee Clipper II to the International Space Station, the SSEP Mission 6 to ISS payload of experiments that were originally lost with the Orb-3 failure on October 28, 2014. All Mission 6 student flight teams, and SSEP delegations traveling to the launch, were notified yesterday evening of the scrub. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Insitute for Space Education are re-assessing, with all 17 flight teams, if any experiments need to be pulled and refreshed given the delay.

The NASA News Release found below, issued 11:30 am ET today, provides details of the rescheduled launch. Note that the new launch date of January 6 is a NET – No Earlier Than – date which means that it is currently only a placeholder until NASA and SpaceX have the ability to assess the situation.


December 18, 2014
NASA, SpaceX Update Launch of Fifth SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station

NASA and SpaceX announced today the launch of SpaceX’s fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station now will occur no earlier than Tuesday, Jan. 6.

The new launch date will provide SpaceX engineers time to investigate further issues that arose from a static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 16 and will avoid beta angle constraints for berthing the Dragon cargo ship to the station that exist through the end of the year.

A beta angle is the position of the sun relative to mechanical structures on the space station. During the time of high beta angles, which run from Dec. 28 through Jan. 7, thermal and operational constraints prohibit Dragon from berthing to the station.

Space station managers will meet Monday, Jan. 5, for a readiness review in advance of the launch attempt Jan. 6. The launch postponement has no impact on the station’s crew or its complement of food, fuel and supplies and will not affect the science being delivered to the crew once Dragon arrives at the station.

The launch is scheduled at approximately 6:18 a.m. EST. NASA Television coverage will begin at 5 a.m.

A backup launch attempt is available Wednesday, Jan. 7.

A launch on Jan. 6 will result in a rendezvous and grapple of Dragon Thursday, Jan. 8, at approximately 6 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 4:30 a.m. Installation coverage will begin at 9 a.m.

Prelaunch briefings at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 5, with times still to be determined.

For an updated schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit:


For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:


For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:


For more information about the International Space Station, visit:




The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

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