CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule to the International Space Station has been scheduled to liftoff at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, April 2, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Launch Weather 80% ‘GO’
According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 80% chance of favorable weather for the launch. The primary concerns are flight through precipitation and cumulus clouds.
Attempted Ground Landing, Sonic Boom
After first stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1 or 2.
Residents of the communities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Mims, Port Canaveral, Port St. John, Rockledge, Scottsmoor, Sharpes, and Titusville, Florida, are most likely to hear a sonic boom, although what Brevard County residents experience will depend on weather conditions and other factors.
The Dragon capsule will carry food and supplies to the crew aboard the to the International Space Station, as well as scientific equipment to study severe thunderstorms on Earth, the effects of microgravity on production of high-performance products from metal powders, and growing food in space.
Dragon also carries cargo for research in the National Laboratory, operated by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), including testing the effects of the harsh space environment on materials, coatings and components; identifying potential pathogens aboard the station; and investigating an antibiotic-releasing wound patch.
‘Flight-Proven’ (Reused) Falcon 9
This Falcon 9 first stage rocket previously launched the CRS-12 mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 14, 2017.
Photo credit: SpaceX