Queen’s University Alumn Launches Supply Rocket to RMC Alumn in Orbit

Published on: 2013/03/01 - in Featured News

An unmanned Falcon rocket launched from Cape Canaveral at 10:10 am this morning on a mission to bring supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

SpaceX – the first private company to deliver supplies to the station – is the brainchild of Elon Musk, an alumnus (COM’94) of Kingston’s Queen’s University.

One of the recipients of this shipment will be Commander Chris Hadfield, who graduated from Kingston’s Royal Military College in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

SpaceX first put a rocket into orbit in June of 2010 and their second launch delivered supplies to the ISS in October 2012.

Today’s mission will deliver over a ton of cargo that includes equipment for 160 experiments as well apples and other fresh fruit from the orchard of a SpaceX employee’s family.

Commander Hadfield, who frequently posts photographs to Twitter, snapped a photo when he was in orbit above Kingston in late December.

Elon Musk – who is also CEO of Tesla Motors, Chairman of Solar City, and the inspiration for Hollywood’s Iron Man – is the subject of the current Queen’s Alumni Review magazine’s cover story “Rocket Man“.

Both were on Twitter this morning, with Musk tweeting updates as SpaceX dealt with a complication with the Dragon’s thruster pods, soon after it separated from the Falcon rocket: “Issue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override.”

The issue affected deployment of the craft’s solar panels, but it was reported resolved when Musk wrote to his Twitter followers “Solar array deployment successful” just over an hour later.

The current mission is set to deliver the supplies to the space station on Saturday morning. NASA has signed a contract with SpaceX for it to provide 12 resupply missions to the ISS.

UPDATE: The SpaceX CRS-2 Mission page confirmed that “after Dragon achieved orbit, the spacecraft experienced an issue with a propellant valve. One thruster pod is running. We are trying to bring up the remaining three. We did go ahead and get the solar arrays deployed. Once we get at least two pods running, we will begin a series of burns to get to station.”

Related Twitter Feeds: Elon Musk | Cmdr Chris Hadfield | SpaceX | NASA


QueensU’s Musk Delivers Supplies to RMC’s Hadfield

Storified by · Tue, Mar 05 2013 11:38:58

Good Morning, Earth! Our crew wishes @SpaceX full success in launching Dragon today! We’re very ready to grab it with Canadarm2 tomorrow.Chris Hadfield
SpaceX launch at 10:10am EST today. Will deliver cargo to ISS. Watch it live at http://nasa.gov/ntvJeremy R. Hansen
T minus 22 mins to launch mission 3 to dock with the Space Station http://pic.twitter.com/TfGUbZSaL3Elon Musk
Flying Canadarm2, keeping proficient at this very particular and exacting skill. Good job for a Canadian! http://pic.twitter.com/M83HDckCBQChris Hadfield
Falcon 9 delivered Dragon to its target orbit. All good on the rocket.Elon Musk
Issue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override.Elon Musk
Holding on solar array deployment until at least two thruster pods are activeElon Musk
About to pass over Australia ground station and command inhibit overrideElon Musk
Thruster pod 3 tank pressure trending positive. Preparing to deploy solar arrays.Elon Musk
Solar array deployment successfulElon Musk
Attempting bring up of thruster pods 2 and 4Elon Musk
Pods 1 and 4 now online and thrusters engaged. Dragon transitioned from free drift to active control. Yes!!Elon Musk
Happy crewmember – Dragon securely snared by Canadarm2, ready to be lifted around, hooked into place, and opened up. http://pic.twitter.com/kEOGpvbjBYChris Hadfield


Top image: NASA screencap | Magazine cover: Queen’s Alumni Review