NASA/SpaceX prelaunch news conference

The Falcon 19/Dragon COTS prelaunch news conference starts at 1:30 pm on NASA TV. You can also see it below via a feed from Spaceflight Now:

Watch live streaming video from spaceflightnow at

Update: Gwynne Shotwell says there is an issue with the second stage nozzle that they want to check out. So earliest launch is now set for Thursday. If they decide to switch the nozzle, the launch would be delayed till Friday or Saturday.

Update 2: Some notes from the program: Weather was marginal on Tuesday, especially for 1st stage pickup. Weather looks better later in the week. Q&A – Shotwell: Pictures showed something odd about a weld in the nozzle. They are inspecting it now. Shotwell: Will try to provide info in a more timely matter. The company’s policy is to be as open as possible but sometimes there are not enough people to provide real time info. Phil McAlister: COTS experience will input into how the commercial crew program will be run. Lindenmoyer: Disputes a reporter’s contention that NASA has not had enough information from SpaceX. Says that there has been lots of insight into SpaceX systems and methods. NASA team has worked from the start with the company. SpaceX has been very open and a good partner. Shotwell: SpaceX is “all in” on getting first operational flight to Station next year. Lindenmoyer: If additional funding provided, they would involve extra flights to demonstrate capabilities to lower the risks for ISS flights. McAlister: New money would be for “new content”. It’s not for cost growth to meet original requirements. It would be for new requirements. McAlister: Competition is critical for cargo and crew services. Want to have routine low cost commercial access to LEO by 2020. Shotwell: Thousands of mission patches stored on the Dragon. Shotwell: Two ships in Atlantic. One ship in Pacific plus a couple of NASA planes. Shotwell: First crew launch would be 2.5-3 years after commercial crew contract first awarded. Shotwell: Spent $600M at SpaceX to get this far. Shotwell: The company pays overruns under the fixed contract format. One reporter asked if the $270M from NASA was for this flight! No, it was for whole program including three COTS flights. Shotwell: Faster is not about cutting corners. Shotwell: Most delays have been in getting the Dragon spacecraft ready. It’s a very complex system. Involves reentry components, hydrazine RCS, etc. Very complicated and it would be foolish to launch it before it’s ready. Shotwell: She gives a big thanks to NASA and compliments the agency on how the relationship has worked out.


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