NICER Launch to the International Space Station -- new launch date
Update June 1st, 5:35PM ET: Due to lightning in the Cape Canaveral area, the launch was scrubbed on Thursday and rescheduled for Saturday at 5:07PM ET (unfortunately, without an MKI group viewing in Marlar Lounge).
The Dragon resupply ship, from SpaceX and loaded with brand new science experiments, will launch June 1 and arrive at the station June 4. The NICER detector team at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research delivered Si drift detectors and signal processing electronics for the 56 cameras that constitute the Instrument. The cameras are sensitive to X-ray photons in the range 0.2-12 keV, and each event will be time-tagged with an instrument clock that ticks at 40 ns.
NASA to Air Launch of Next International Space Station Resupply Mission
NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting its eleventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 5:55 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 1. Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 5:15 p.m., followed by the post-launch news conference at 7:30 p.m.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will liftoff on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The unpressurized trunk of the spacecraft also will transport solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit. It then will deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. When it arrives to the space station, Expedition 52 Flight Engineers Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson of NASA will grapple Dragon.
Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 4, on NASA TV, with installation coverage set to begin at 11:30 a.m. If the launch does not occur on June 1, the next launch opportunity is 5:07 p.m. Saturday, June 3, with NASA TV coverage starting at 4:30 p.m.
The Dragon spacecraft will remain at the space station until approximately July 2, when it will return to Earth with research and return cargo in a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California. Continue reading NASA NICER Media Advisory
Additional information about NICER:
Banner image: Animated still image of the NICER payload aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center