After several days of software review with NASA, SpaceX has set Saturday May 19 as the new launch date for liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a SpaceX unmanned Dragon spacecraft on the first commercial cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station.
This is at least the fifth launch date set by SpaceX for the historic mission extending back to April 30. Whether it takes more dates beyond May 19 and May 22 is not as important as doing the mission perfectly once it is flown, no matter when that is. Success will instantly wash away the the aggravation of delays, but a failure would have a lasting impact.
The backup launch date is Tuesday May 22. No launch time has been announced by SpaceX yet for the mission that will be flown from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.
“After additional reviews and discussions between the SpaceX and NASA teams, we are in a position to proceed toward this important launch,” says William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters.
“The teamwork provided by these teams is phenomenal. There are a few remaining open items, but we are ready to support SpaceX for its new launch date of May 19,” Gerstenmaier said.