Title should say everything about the weather. Only heavy rains predicted at Florida can stop SpaceX launch preparations.
This historical mission is good sum up of position of SpaceX in American space industry. Company will launch in following days their Dragon commercial cargo spacecraft to International Space Station from LC-39 Pad A at Kennedy Space Center. This special place was launch site for Space Shuttles, which were providing supplies for ISS and in fact made building the station possible for NASA. As Space Shuttle remain one of the most impressive achievements of NASA and whole space industry in the United States, SpaceX Dragon is rather sign of its times, less spectacular but also less expensive comparing to Shuttle. Huge installations at LC-39 designed for Apollo program and modified for the Shuttle will soon be used for a first time since 2011 – on Saturday Falcon-9 FT with Dragon cargo spacecraft on the top will begun tenth commercial resupply cargo mission to ISS.
As preparations before launch are almost finished rollout of Falcon-9 is planned for today or tomorrow, meteo specialists have not good news for SpaceX. Forecasts are rather giving 50% chance for launch due the heavy rains and thick clouds which will appear over Florida on Saturday.
During this mission it is planned that Dragon spacecraft will deliver 2389 kg of supplies divided into two parts. First part covering 1429 kg will be packed into pressurized section of Dragon. It will be 730 kg of science experiments, 382 kg of vehicle hardware, 263 kg supplies for crew, 33 kg of Russian hardware, 11 kg of computer equipment and 10 kg of EVA accessories. Inside its unpressurized trunk Dragon will deliver 960 kg of payload: SAGE-3 nd STP-H5. SAGE III is Stratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment III, special device for measuring level of ozone in atmosphere; STP-H5 is special device for detecting and measuring amount, rate, and energy of lightnings.