SpaceX CRS-1 is the third flight for the uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, an American private space transportation company based in Hawthorne, California; a partially reusable spacecraft by Space X (also known as the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation).
It is the fourth overall flight for the companyâ€™s two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle, a rocket-powered spaceflight launch system. Aside from that, it is also the first Space X operational mission under their Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA, or the â€œNational Aeronautics and Space Administrationâ€ (â€œNASAâ€), the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nationâ€™s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research, for the delivery of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) by commercial firms. The launch occurred on 7 October 2012 at 20:34 EDT (8 October 2012 at 00:34 UTC).
In May 2012, it was reported that the CRS-1 Falcon 9 had already been transported to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (â€œCCAFSâ€), an installation of the United States Air Force Space commandâ€™s 45th Space Wing, headquartered at the nearby Patrick Air Force Base. The CRS-1 Dragon later arrived on August 14, 2012. On August 31, 2012, a Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDH) was completed for the CRS-1 Falcon 9 to test out the systems of the rocket prior to spacecraft integration and launch, and on September 29, a static fire test was completed; both of these tests were completed without the Dragon capsule attached to the launch vehicle stack. The mission passed its Launch Readiness Review on October 5, 2012.
Dates are listed in UTC, or the â€œCoordinated Universal Time,â€ the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time.
At one minute, 10 seconds after liftoff, Falcon 9 reaches supersonic speed. The vehicle will pass through the area of maximum aerodynamic pressure, max. Q, 10 seconds later. This is the point when mechanical stress on the rocket peaks due to a combination of the rocket’s velocity and resistance created by the Earthâ€™s atmosphere . Around 2-minutes 30-seconds into the flight, two of the first-stage engines will shutdown to reduce the rocket’s acceleration. At this point, Falcon 9 is 90 kilometers (56 miles) high, traveling at 10 times the speed of sound. The remaining engines will cut off shortly after—an event known as main-engine cutoff, or MECO. 5 seconds after MECO, the first and second stages will separate. 7 seconds later, the second stageâ€™s single Merlin vacuum engine ignites to begin a 6-minute, 14-second but that brings Dragon into low-Earth orbit. 40 seconds after the second-stage ignition, Dragon’s protective nose cone, which covers Dragonâ€™s berthing mechanism, will be jettisoned. At the 9-minute, 14 second mark after launch, the second-stage engine cuts off (SECO). 35 seconds later, Dragon separates from Falcon 9â€™s second stage and seconds later, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit. It then deploys its solar arrays and then opens its guidance and navigation control (GNC) bay door which holds the sensors necessary for rendezvous and Dragonâ€™s grapple fixture—â€œPower Data Grapple Fixture (â€œPDGFâ€), a connection fixture used in the International Space Station (ISS).