SpaceX managed to deliver to orbit twelfth Dragon spacecraft with supplies for International Space Station.
Falcon-9 1.2v rocket delivered to LEO robotic cargo spacecraft Dragon during twelfth mission under CRS contract. Vehicle was launched as it was previously planned, from Kennedy Space Center LC-39A launch site with 1652 kg of pressurized and 1258 kg or unpressurized cargo for International Space Station.
Roll out of the rocket from assembly facility was performed on 10th August. At 13:11 UTC rocket was performed static test fire. After test fire until today, rocket remained at hangar closed and secured; final journey on Earth begun today at 03:46 UTC – rocket was delivered to launch pad on special railed platform and later moved to vertical position. One hour before launch, at 15:30 UTC fueling process was started.
Punctually at 16:31 UTC long for 65 m rocket was launched from LC-39A launch site at Kennedy Space Center. At T+60″, after performing pitch maneuver, rocket reached speed of sound and passed through this phase of flight when dynamic pressure reaches peak value. At T+3′ rocket cut off its first stage and separated it from second stage. This was beginning of return of the booster to Earth. First stage performed its flip maneuver and begun series of burns one minute later to reduce speed and perform reentry. At the same time second stage powered by single vacuum version of Merlin-1D engine jettisoned nose cone and exposed Dragon spacecraft. At T+6′ first stage performed entry burn and stabilized its flight before reaching Cape Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1. Finally at 16:39 UTC first stage landed at Landing Zone 1 pad. At the same time second stage was continuing its flight to LEO orbit and prepared to deploy Dragon spacecraft. Two minutes later at 18:41 UTC second stage was cut off and at 18:43 UTC Dragon was deployed at LEO orbit with following parameters: 200 km x 360 km, inclined 51.6 degrees. Two minutes later Dragon deployed solar arrays and confirmed its good condition and orbital parameters.
It was sixth landing of the first stage of the Falcon-9 at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. Booster will be moved to horizontal position and transported to not yet specified SpaceX facility for further inspection. Dragon will reach ISS after 48 hours of flight and will dock to Harmony of Unity modules docking port.