|April 06, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M07-16
NASA Progresses Toward SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station
NASA provider SpaceX is scheduled to launch its eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station on Friday, April 8. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is targeting lift off on the company's Falcon 9 rocket at 4:43 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, carrying science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.
NASA TV also will air two briefings on Thursday, April 7. At 1 p.m., scientists and researchers will discuss some of the investigations to be delivered to the station, followed by a briefing by mission managers at 3:30 p.m. The briefings also will stream live on the agency’s website.
About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit, deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station.
The spacecraft will arrive at the station Sunday, April 10, at which time NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake will use the station’s robotic arm to capture the Dragon spacecraft. Ground commands will be sent from Houston to the station’s arm to install Dragon on the bottom side of the Harmony module for its stay at the space station. Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 5:30 a.m. on NASA TV, with installation set to begin at 9:30 a.m.
The following day, the crew will pressurize the space between the station and Dragon and open the hatch between the two spacecraft.
The Dragon spacecraft will deliver almost 7,000 pounds of supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital outpost and its crew. The cargo includes the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which will be attached to the space station to test the use of an expandable space habitat in microgravity. Scheduled to return to Earth in May, the Dragon capsule will bring back biological samples from astronauts, including those collected during NASA’s one-year mission.
The new experiments arriving to the station will help investigators study muscle atrophy and bone loss in space, use microgravity to seek insight into the interactions of particle flows at the nanoscale level and use protein crystal growth in microgravity to help in the design of new drugs to fight disease.
Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth on May 11. About five-and-a-half hours after it leaves the station, it will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Media at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will have the opportunity to participate in special tours and briefings on April 7 and 8, as well as view the launch. The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed. For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the launch does not occur on Friday, April 8, the next launch opportunity is 4:20 p.m. Saturday, April 9, with NASA TV coverage starting at 3:15 p.m.
PRESS ACCREDITATION OFFICE HOURS OF OPERATION
Media badges will be issued at the Press Accreditation Office located on State Road 3, Merritt Island. Badging hours of operation are:
Thursday, April 7: 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
PRESS SITE HOURS OF OPERATION
The NASA Press Site at Kennedy will be open as follows:
Thursday, April 7: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 7 (L-1 day): A science, research and technology briefing will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 1 p.m. and air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Participants will be:
PRELAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE ON NASA TV
Thursday, April 7 (L-1 day): A prelaunch status briefing will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 3:30 p.m. and air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Participants will be:
POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE ON NASA TV
Friday, April 8: A post-launch news conference will occur at about 6 p.m. and air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Participants will be:
NEWS MEDIA TOURS
News and social media participants will receive tours of various facilities and attend briefings about upcoming NASA and commercial partner activities.
Journey to Mars Media Event
Thursday, April 7 (L-1 Day) News media will depart the Press Site by bus at 8 a.m. Media will receive an update from NASA on the “Pick-and-Eat Salad” initiative to develop a sustainable food supplement for long-duration spaceflight in the Space Station Processing Facility. At 9:25 a.m., media will depart for Kennedy’s Swamp Works, where they will hear about technologies used in deep-space exploration. Immediately following the Swamp Works presentation, media will have an opportunity to view the Orion capsule in the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility, where they will receive an update on vehicle processing and upcoming testing.
Remote Camera Set Up/Pad Photo Opportunity - Space Launch Complex 40 or Universal Camera Site 3
Friday, April 8 (Launch day): News media will be able to establish sound-activated remote cameras to capture the liftoff from the pad at Space Launch Complex 40. Foreign national media will be able to establish remote cameras at the nearby Universal Camera Site 3. Buses depart the Press Site at 9 a.m. After all cameras are deployed, media will return to the Press Site at 10:30 a.m. with an expected arrival time of 10:55 a.m.
Friday, April 8 (Launch day): News media wanting to view the launch from the NASA Causeway will depart the Press Site by bus at 3:15 p.m.
A sign-up sheet will be available in the newsroom for media desiring to photograph the launch from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Space is limited for this activity so media must sign up in person. At 3:40 p.m., media selected will depart the Press Site for the VAB.
Up to 50 social media representatives were invited to cover launch. The Kennedy Press Site Annex will serve as their home base, and they will view launch from the NASA Causeway. Social media will attend some of the same activities as the traditional news media and will receive tours of various facilities and briefings about upcoming NASA and commercial partner activities.
NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE
Friday, April 8 (Launch day): NASA TV live coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:
Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 3:15 p.m. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.
IN-FLIGHT NASA TV COVERAGE
If launch occurs April 8, NASA TV will provide live coverage of the arrival of the SpaceX CRS-8 Dragon spacecraft to the space station. NASA TV will cover the rendezvous and capture of the spacecraft beginning at 5:30 a.m. with installation taking place at approximately 10 a.m. Coverage of the installation of Dragon will begin at 9:30 a.m.
NASA WEB PRELAUNCH AND LAUNCH COVERAGE
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the SpaceX CRS-8 flight will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and text updates beginning at 3:30 p.m. as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video, podcast and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Gregory B. Harland at 321-861-7401. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at:
Learn more about the SpaceX CRS-8 mission by going to the mission home page at:
The Kennedy Twitter feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the feed, visit:
The Kennedy Facebook feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the feed, visit:
Recorded status reports on the launch of SpaceX CRS-8 spacecraft and associated prelaunch activities will be provided on the Kennedy media phone line starting Friday, April 8. The telephone number is 321-867-2525.
Wireless capability for the news media is available at the Kennedy Press Site.
For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit:
For more information about the International Space Station, visit:
Gregory B. Harland
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