SpaceX CRS-11 Mission
The SpaceX CRS-11, also known as SPX-11, is a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) scheduled to launch from launch complex 39A on June 1,2017 at 5:55 PM. The mission is contracted my NASA and will be flown by SpaceX. The mission will utilize the Falcon 9 rocket and a reused Dragon capsule to send the necessary cargo and experiments to the International Space Station. The dragon capsule that SpaceX will use for this mission is the same one used on CRS-4.
CRS-11 will be the second to last mission of twelve original missions contracted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract. This will be the first time SpaceX will reuse a Dragon spacecraft and should allow the private space company to scale back its production line and help it shift focus on the Dragon v2.
SpaceX will attempt to land the Falcon 9 first stage back at landing zone 1 (LZ-1) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station about 9 miles away from launch complex 39A.
According to a NASA Inspector General report filed in June 2016, CRS-11 is expected to carry 1,737 kg or 3,826 lbs of pressurized cargo and 1,573 kg or 3,468 lbs of unpressurized cargo to the ISS. Some of the external payloads on this mission include NICER (Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer) , MUSES (Multiple User System for Earth Sensing Facility), and ROSA (Roll-Out Solar Array).
About the Rocket
SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 v1.2 also know as the Falcon 9 full thrust, which will be the 15th time the private space company has used the v1.2 on a mission and the 35th launch of a Falcon 9 (F9) rocket. The Falcon 9 v1.2 is a partially reusable low earth orbit (LEO) launch vehicle and the first to use propulsive vertical landing of its first stage.
The F9 v1.2 is about 230 feet tall with the payload fairing installed and has a diameter of 12 feet. The rockets first stage uses 9 Merlin 1D engines to deliver 1,710,000 lbs of thrust at sea level and about 1,850,000 in a vacuum. The engines burn for 162 seconds using subcooled liquid oxygen (LOX) and chilled RP-1, which is a highly refined kerosene used as rocket propellant.
The F9 second stage uses 1 Merlin 1D vacuum engine which delivers 210,000 lbs of thrust in vacuum and burns for 397 seconds using LOX and RP-1 as fuel.
In December 2015 the Falcon 9 Full Thrust version was the first launch vehicle on an orbital trajectory to successfully vertically land a first stage and recover the rocket.
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