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LAUNCH PAD
NASA Sets Coverage For COTS 1 Launch

NASA established the COTS program to procure a commercial launch service to stimulate the commercial space industry, to facilitate a private industry cargo capability to the International Space Station as soon as achievable, and to achieve cost-effective access to low Earth orbit that will attract private customers.
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Dec 01, 2010
The first SpaceX Falcon 9 demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program is targeted for liftoff on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Liftoff will occur from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The launch window extends from 9:03 a.m. to 12:22 p.m. EST. If necessary, launch opportunities also are available on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 with the same window.

Known as COTS 1, the launch is the first flight of the Dragon spacecraft and the first commercial attempt to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit. This is the first of three test launches currently planned in the Falcon 9 test flight series.

It is intended as a demonstration mission to prove key capabilities such as launch, structural integrity of the Dragon spacecraft, on-orbit operation, re-entry, descent and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA established the COTS program to procure a commercial launch service to stimulate the commercial space industry, to facilitate a private industry cargo capability to the International Space Station as soon as achievable, and to achieve cost-effective access to low Earth orbit that will attract private customers.

Prelaunch News Conference
The prelaunch news conference for the COTS 1 Falcon 9 launch is planned for L-1, currently Monday, Dec. 6, at 1:30 p.m., at the press site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA Television will provide live coverage. The prelaunch news conference participants will be:

+ Phil McAlister, acting director, Commercial Space Flight Development. NASA Headquarters, Washington

+ Alan Lindenmoyer, manager, Commercial Crew and Cargo Program. NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston

+ Gwynne Shotwell, president. SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif.

+ Mike McAleenan, Falcon 9 Launch Weather Officer. 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

A post-mission news conference will be held at Kennedy approximately one hour after splashdown occurs.

Audio of the prelaunch and post-mission news conferences also will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which can be accessed directly by dialing 321-867-1220, 1240, 1260 or 7135.

Falcon 9 Launch Pad Photo Opportunity
On Dec. 6 following the prelaunch news conference, a photo opportunity of the Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad will be available for media representatives. Spokespeople from SpaceX will be available to answer questions. Journalists who wish to participate should plan to depart the Kennedy press site no earlier than 2:15 p.m. Media will be returned to the press site by approximately 4 p.m.

Remote Camera Set-Ups
While sound-activated remote cameras cannot be established inside the launch pad perimeter, other locations will be available. Media representatives wishing to establish remote cameras should be at the Kennedy press site on L-1, Dec. 6, at 9 a.m.



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LAUNCH PAD
FAA issues private spacecraft permit
Washington (UPI) Nov 23, 2010
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued the first-ever license for a commercial spacecraft to re-enter Earth's atmosphere from orbit, officials say. The license will allow the California-based company SpaceX to complete the first operational flight of the Dragon spacecraft during a NASA demonstration mission set for a Dec. 7 launch, Florida Today reported. After its launc ... read more







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