CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- 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, and the briefing will be streamed at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
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.