SpaceX will make the first flight from the US Eastern Range following July’s scheduled maintenance stand down on Monday, with its Falcon 9 resuming operations to deliver a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. The CRS-12 Dragon mission is set for a “single shot” launch from KSC’s 39A, with a launch at 12:31 (local). A scrub will result in the mission waiting five days for the next attempt.
Monday’s launch, the eleventh Falcon 9 mission of the year, ends a month-long break in launches from Florida’s space coast. This gap between launches was due in part to planned maintenance that closed the Eastern Range following July’s Falcon 9 mission which carried Intelsat 35e into orbit.
The gap was further extended by delays to the launch of NASA’s TDRS-M satellite, which had been scheduled to ride an Atlas V into orbit at the beginning of August.
Downtime periods – termed Recapitalization by the US Air Force – are scheduled to allow work to be performed that would be difficult to perform or take longer to complete while the range is operational. They are not uncommon and are typically scheduled around planned launches.
SpaceX’s high launch rate in the ...