Thursday, June 30, 2022

CRS25 (Cargo Resupply) Mission Bumped Later

SpaceX's CRS25 mission to the International Space Station was originally scheduled to be June 10th but was then delayed on the 7th by the discovery of a possible leak from one of the Cargo Dragon's Draco thrusters.  Dates moved around a bit but the last I heard was No Earlier Than (NET) July 11th. Word was released earlier in the week of a three day slip to NET July 14th.  

“The new target launch date supports ongoing Dragon spacecraft inspections as well as repair and replacement of any components that could have degraded by exposure to mono-methyl hydrazine (MMH) vapor found during testing in early June. In order to allow a more detailed off-vehicle inspection of the parachutes, the SpaceX team made the decision to replace the main parachutes on this spacecraft.

The new date also allows for launch of the uncrewed cargo mission for the earliest possible rendezvous opportunity with the International Space Station following the upcoming high-beta angle period when the sun angle with space station’s orbital plane causes problems with thermal and power generation at the microgravity laboratory in the planned docking attitude for visiting spacecraft.” – June 28th, 2022

The reason for this latest delay is the last sentence in the first quoted paragraph: the possibility that the MMH leak may have damaged one of the Cargo Dragon's parachutes.  Rather than open the capsule and inspect the parachutes, SpaceX made the decision to replace them with new parachutes and inspect those in a better way.  The delay from July 11th to the 14th to replace 'chutes isn't that much time, and taking time to inspect the 'chutes and then replace them would most likely take more time than to just replace them.  

The Cargo Dragon from mission CRS-23 arriving at ISS and just off the docking visible at left.  Photo by ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet.  August 30, 2021.  

This is one of six Falcon 9 launches on the manifest for July; the first will be NET next Thursday, July 7, from SLC-40 at the Cape, followed by one from Vandenberg's SLC-4E on Friday, July 8. 


  1. Still and all, SIG, SpaceX's launch cadence is truly breakneck! 27 launches in 26 weeks!! That's a huge record to try and break!
    Go SpaceX

    1. Top that with July at six launches in four weeks!

    2. Just amazing. Thanks for keeping up with this for us.

  2. And once again SpaceX is showing the value of mass production. Parachutes potentially screwed up? Everyone else pulls them and carefully unpacks them and carefully inspects them and maybe even tests them then repacks and reinstalls, takes 1-2 years... SpaceX? Yank that bad boy and pull a set from the stores.

    Reminds me of the Apollo days, once the production got rolling on the systems. "Oh, got a possible bad one here..." "Eh, yank it, send it to inspection, install the backup one." "No backup available." "Eh, pull it from Unit 12..."

  3. Cool photo. At first glance, it looked like a shot from 2001 where Dave is asking HAL to open the pod bay doors.

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