spacecraft carrying a cargo under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, and make an approach to the International Space Station for capture and docking using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System.
Backup date is April 19 (19:02 UTC).
Launch was originally targeted at a one month period that opened Jan 17. Scheduled for Mar 31 then postponed because of a problem with a radar system downrange from the launch site.
Countdown was running April 14 when a leak was detected from a Helium tank in the Falcon 9 first stage about 75 mins before planned lift off (19:58 UTC). Launch was postponed.
SpaceX press kit:
The launch vehicle will also carry NASA's ELaNa 5
(Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) cluster of five Cubesats, in four P-POD dispensers, that will be released after separation of the Dragon spacecraft:
is a 3U Cubesat that will release 104 Sprites (postage stamp shape/size - 32mm x 32mm, individual satellites) for organisations that sponsored them. Each Sprite will transmit a unique code to identify its sponsor plus data from a small sensor. KickSat itself also carries logos and signatures of individuals and organisations that sponsored the launch with donations.
The Sprites are unlikely to be detected individually as satellites so will probably not get catalogued. They will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere within a few days of release.
- 1U Cubesat from NASA Ames laboratory, fourth in a series of missions designed to use commercially available smartphone technology as part of low-cost satellite development, technology demonstor as a pathfinder for the
Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Network,
(TESTSat-Lite) - 3U cubesat from Taylor University, Indiana, will use a GlobalStar satellite communication modem to demonstrate a reliable and global nanosat network, and will observe space weather with a plasma probe, 3-axis magnetometer, and three ultraviolet photodiodes,
(Agile Low-cost Laboratory for Space Technology Acceleration and Research/Telescopic High-definition Earth Imaging Apparatus) - 3U Cubesat, sponsored by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium (CoSGC) and Lockheed Martin, for full-colour imaging of the Earth's surface to demonstrate the capabilities of a new Cubesat design,
- 3U Cubesat to study how plant cells sense gravity, joint mission between NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University,
NASA ELaNa 5 factsheet:
Falcon 9's first stage will be fitted with landing legs as part of SpaceX ongoing development of recovery systems. In this case, the Falcon 9 will not be retrieved.
NASA TV coverage: