Dragon COTS 2,3 – Day 3


Slide 1
Mission Profile for Dragon – Slide 1 – Flight Day 1-3
Image Credit: SpaceX

Most of Flight Day 2 (FD2) has been devoted to raising the orbit. See the “Phasing” portion of the Mission Profile Slide 1, above. At 2300 UTC on Wednesday, 23 May, Dragon is 560 kilometers behind ISS over the South Pacific approaching Chile, and closing at about 1 km per minute.

Flight Day 2 Objectives include:

  • Co-elliptic burns, place Dragon in a circular orbit
  • Height adjust burns, start adjusting altitude higher towards station

On 24 May, Thursday, 2:30 AM EDT (0630 UTC) – NASA TV provides coverage of the SpaceX/Dragon Fly-Under of the ISS – JSC (All Channels)

Flight Day 3 Objectives:

  • Height adjust burn carries Dragon 2.5 km below the station (GO/NO-GO)
  • Dragon demonstrates relative GPS
  • Dragon starts receiving and transmitting information from/to the CUCU unit on the station
  • Height adjust burn carries Dragon away from ISS
  • Dragon begins burns that carry the spacecraft above the space station (GO/NO-GO)
  • Rear height adjust burn
  • Dragon starts a series of maneuvers that place it behind and below the space station (GO/NO-GO) – (Red Arrow)

CE2-flyby burn will start at 3:47 am EDT, Dragon will fly by directly below the station (crossing the Rbar) at about 6:30 AM EDT, at a range of 2.5 km. Should be our first look at Dragon from the ISS.

SpaceX on Twitter: “Dragon Mission Update: First maneuver for fly That’s 4:00 under is predicted to be Thursday at approximately 1:00 am PT with crew ops occurring after”. That’s 4:00 AM EDT and 1100 UTC.

From Elon on Twitter: “About 110 miles away and the spacecraft is now in direct communication with the Space Station #Dragon”.

At 0645 UTC on Thursday, Dragon is 133 kilometers behind the Space Station and about an hour away from the HA2 burn (0758 UTC) that will raise the orbit to within 2.5 kilometers of the ISS. Following that 45 minutes later, will be the CE2 burn (0843 UTC). Then Dragon will slowly pass beneath the ISS, crossing the Rbar and moving out in front. Tests will include the RGPS (Relative GPS) and the commanding of the Dragon by the crew on ISS via CUCU. The command will be to turn on a strobe light (1028 UTC).

At 0715 UTC, Holly Ridings, NASA mission controller, has informed SpaceX in Hawthorne that they are go for the HA2 burn. Currently, this is about an hour behind the published schedule.

At 0725 UTC, communication with the ISS has passed to the Russian Mission Control Center.

At 0753, we are 5 minutes from HA2. Hawthorne has confirmed all computer commands have been uploaded.

SpaceX confirms Dragon has begun its HA2 burn. And the burn has been completed. CE2 burn in 45 minutes.

Dragon is 50 kilometers behind the ISS.

At 0843 UTC, the CE2 burn is underway. And completed. Nominal burn.

Dragon will now pass under the ISS at 2.4 kilometers. CUCU test preparation underway. The CUCU test is scheduled (1028 UTC) for 90 minutes from now. The R-bar crossing is scheduled for 1125 UTC.

The ISS crew has successfully used the CUCU to command Dragon to turn on the strobe.

At 1124 UTC, Dragon is crossing the Rbar (imaginary line from the ISS to the center of the Earth). See the image.

The DHA burn will occur at 1207 UTC, when Dragon is about 12 kilometers in front of the ISS.

At 1207 UTC, the burn has been completed. Everything is nominal.

From that point, there will be a series of burns that take the Dragon out in front, then up and around above the ISS. After that, Dragon will descend and take up position at the red arrow (see slide 1 above) in preparation for tomorrow’s approach, hold tests, final approach and grapple and berth with the ISS (see slide 2 below).

We will pick up activity tomorrow morning at 0600 UTC Friday (11:00 PM Phoenix time, tonight, Thursday).

Slide 2
Mission Profile for Dragon – Slide 2 – Flight Day 4 – Approach
Image Credit: SpaceX

Slide 2
Mission Profile for Dragon – Slide 3 – Flight Day 4 – Capture
Image Credit: SpaceX

3 thoughts on “Dragon COTS 2,3 – Day 3

  1. Pingback: May 2012 « NSS Phoenix Space News

  2. Pingback: Dragon COTS 2,3 – Day 4 « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  3. Pingback: Dragon On Course For The International Space Station « The National Space Society of Phoenix

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