NASA News: NASA To Hold Briefing Previewing SpaceX Mission To Space Station

HOUSTON -- NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will hold a media
briefing on Monday, April 16, to preview the SpaceX demonstration
mission to the International Space Station, currently scheduled for
launch April 30.

The briefing will immediately follow a Flight Readiness Review (FRR)
conducted by senior NASA managers, space station partners and SpaceX
officials. The review likely will conclude in the early afternoon.
The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA Television and on the
agency's website.

During the flight, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will conduct a series of
checkout procedures, which will test and prove its systems in advance
of the rendezvous with the space station. The primary objectives for
the flight include a fly-under of the station at a distance of 1.5
miles (2.5 kilometers) to validate the operation of sensors and
flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous. The spacecraft also
will demonstrate the capability to abort the rendezvous.

If the checkout procedures go well, Dragon will perform the rendezvous
while the station crew works inside the complex to grapple the
vehicle with the station's robotic arm. Dragon will be berthed to the
Earth-facing side of the Harmony node. At the end of the mission, the
crew will reverse the process, detaching Dragon from the station,
after which Dragon will return to Earth and be recovered.

Briefing participants include:
-- William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human
Exploration and Operations
-- Michael Suffredini, International Space Station program manager
-- Alan Lindenmoyer, Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
program manager
-- Elon Musk, SpaceX chief executive officer and chief designer
-- Holly Ridings, NASA flight director

Reporters can ask questions from participating NASA centers or via
telephone by contacting the Johnson Space Center newsroom 15 minutes
before the start of the briefing at 281-483-5111.

For those attending in person, the deadline for reporters to request
credentials at Johnson is Monday, April 9, for international
residents and Friday, April 13, for U.S. citizens.

Media can follow updates on the progress of the FRR and briefing start
time by following NASA on Twitter at:


For more information on the flight, visit:


For more information on the International Space Station, visit:


For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit:



NASA, SpaceX Announce NASA Social for Falcon 9 Launch Attempt

WASHINGTON -- NASA and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will
invite 50 of their social media followers to a two-day NASA Social
April 29-30 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event is
expected to culminate in the launch of SpaceX's second Commercial
Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration flight. SpaceX's
Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift off at 12:22 p.m. EDT on April
30, in an attempt to become the first commercial company to send a
spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Registration opens at noon EDT Thursday, April 5, and closes at noon
Friday, April 6. Fifty participants will be selected from online registrations.

For more information on NASA Social and to register, visit:


A NASA Social is an event for people who use NASA's social media
accounts. For this event, fans and followers on Twitter, Facebook and
Google+ are eligible to register. Participants will have unique
in-person experiences with SpaceX and NASA, which they are encouraged
to share with others through their favorite social network. Guests
will view the launch, tour NASA facilities at Kennedy, speak with
representatives from both organizations, view the SpaceX launch pad,
meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media, and
meet members of SpaceX and NASA's social media teams.

SpaceX will launch its Dragon spacecraft atop its Falcon 9 launch
vehicle to test and prove its systems for a rendezvous with the space
station. The flight's objectives include a fly-under of the station
to validate operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a
safe rendezvous, berthing to the station and returning the Dragon
spacecraft to Earth.

Because portions of this event may take place in restricted areas,
registration is limited to U.S. citizens.

Since 2006, NASA's COTS program has invested financial and technical
resources to stimulate private sector efforts to develop and
demonstrate safe, reliable and cost-effective space transportation
capabilities. In a multi-phase strategy, the program spurs the
innovation and development of new spacecraft and launch vehicles from
commercial industry to create a new system of delivering cargo to
low-Earth orbit and the space station.

For more information about COTS, visit:


To find all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:


To follow SpaceX on Twitter, visit:


For more information about the International Space Station, visit:


For more information about SpaceX or the Dragon spacecraft, visit:



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