CRS-16 Pre-Launch Presser
- Tori McLendon, NASA Communications Office
- Joel Montalbano, ISS Program Deputy Manager
- Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
- Kirt Costello, ISS Program Chief Scientist
- Clay Flinn, 45th Space Wing Launch Weather Officer, USAF
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Good afternoon and welcome to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the SpaceX CRS-16 pre-launch news conference. I'm Tori McLendon from NASA Communications and I'm pleased to be joined by Joel Montalbano, NASA Deputy International Space Station Manager at Johnson Space Center, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability. Kirt Costello, NASA International Space Station Program Chief Scientist at Johnson Space Center, and Clay Flinn, 45th Space Wing Launch Weather Officer with the US Air Force. Thank you all for joining us. We begin with opening comments from our presenters, and then we'll be happy to take your questions. For those of you following on social media, you can ask questions with the hashtag #askNASA on twitter. We'll go ahead and start with you, Joel.
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: Well, welcome again to the SpaceX-16 pre-launch press briefing. This mission will be the 6th cargo resupply mission, US cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, being the 4th SpaceX mission this year, which complements the two Cygnus spacecraft, of which one still continues to be on board and berthed to the International Space Station. All this today continues the busy year of 2018 and comes on the heels of a Soyuz earlier this morning. So approximately 6:30AM this morning, we had a launch out of Baikonur, Kazakhstan, with one Russian, one American, and one Canadian on board the Soyuz rocket. The Soyuz rocket launch was fantastic, all nominal. The rocket inserted to an orbital profile which resulted in a six hour docking, so approximately 12:30PM Eastern Time the Soyuz docked with the International Space Station. About an hour ago, we had the hatches open, and we're back up to six crew members on board the International Space Station. So, just a great day, and it shows you the robustness of the international partnership we have, you know, working the SpaceX launch here to follow, just like I said, just a few hours, nine hours ago, having the Soyuz launching in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
This mission will bring up over 5,600 lbs of science research, crew supplies, maintenance hardware, a combination of pressurized and unpressurized hardware that will contribute to extending the International Space Station mission of the science and research that we do on board. We're working hard to meet the launch time tomorrow, we're targeting a launch time of 13:38 or 1:38PM Eastern Time. We are working a small issue with the rodents we have today. When we were in the process of preparing the rodents to be loaded on board the vehicle, we were looking at some of the food bars that are necessary for the rodents, and they were contaminated with some mold on there. So we have to go ahead and remove those. We're in the process of working a new timeline, to see if we can go ahead and make the launch for tomorrow. We're working hard with the SpaceX team. It's going to be tight, but right now we are on target and we're holding the December 4th launch date. We're having some hardware flown in from the Ames Research Center, which will arrive later this evening. That team will come down here, we'll process and get loaded in the vehicle with the goal of making the launch time tomorrow. With the launch time tomorrow, that results in a berthing on December 6th, about 06:00 Eastern Time. And this vehicle will stay on orbit until mid-January. January 13th is what we're looking at today.
As far as other activities, I just want to say thank you to the SpaceX team, thank you to Kennedy Space Center, the Air Force, all the teams that make these missions possible. Again, like I talked earlier, it's a combination of groups across the globe that work together to make the International Space Station. This year we celebrate 20 years since the first element launched. And 18 years of crew on orbit on the International Space Station. And we do it with, we touched, over 100 countries across the world have had some type of research, or education, or some type of hardware experiment, science experiment on board the International Space Station. And we pool those resources together to be as successful as we are. And with that I'll hand it back over to you, Tori. Thank you.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Thank you. Next up is Hans with SpaceX.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Yeah, thank you. And 20 years is really an amazing accomplished. Congratulations. I am actually coming from a launch. I am in the post-launch mode rather than the pre-launch mode. So I've got to switch that. We just had a launch on the west coast, SSO-A, pretty much 24 hours before the next one is planned. Which our shortest turnaround time so far, but we're working very hard to make that possible. Yes. So the launch went flawless, basically, and landed a first-stage booster on the droneship, and deployed a whole bunch of payloads. I just know the SpaceX side of that, everything was fine on that side. So, the deploys are actually continuing as we speak. Going back to CRS-16, we are targeting a 1:38PM launch. If you slip one day, it would be a 1:16PM launch date. So slightly earlier, 20 minutes, right about. From SLC-40. And it is our 16th cargo mission to the Space Station. We dock, sorry, we don't dock, we berth. We berth on the morning of Thursday, December 6th. And we will stay for approximately five weeks before we get back and land in the Pacific.
This is a land landing for the first stage. So we will attempt to land the first stage back here on LZ-1. And if successful, this will be our first east coast landing since Falcon Heavy, and our 33rd landing in total. That's a pretty high number, by my opinion. It's also, a little bit of history here, it's about to hit our 8th anniversary of COTS-1, which was the first Dragon around the ISS. And it's also on the day, the fifth anniversary of our first geostationary mission from LC-40. So we've come a long way in those couple of years. This is the fifth resupply mission that's using a previously flown Dragon, flight-proven Dragon for that matter. And this particular Dragon supported the CRS-10 mission before, which flew in February of 2017. Going forward, all the CRS-1 contracted Dragons will be flight-proven. And we will move to Dragon 2 on the CRS-2 contract.
We've also had a busy year. This is the 20th launch for SpaceX this year, 11th mission from SLC-40, and we have actually more launches in the past two years than in our previous years combined. So, lots of launches. And I don't see this getting less over the next couple of years. So we'll keep going at the high pace, here. Part of that is that we gain a lot of experience when we refurbish and recover our first stages. We can look at hardware, we can find out what works, we can find out where there are weaknesses, potentially. And we can get additional data by flying lots of video cameras and additional data recorders. So refurbishing and reusing stages again, and Dragons of course the same way, is a great tool to improve your reliability and make your vehicle overall better. And work on basically making a hundred-times reusable vehicle in the long run. So I think I want to close first with thanking the SpaceX team. The team in Hawthorne building or refurbishing the Dragon, the team in Texas testing the booster, and then of course the team in Florida integrating it and performing the launch. It's a great team and they're working very hard to make this work. Also I'd like to thank our customer NASA, our partner NASA, in this case, and the Air Force and FAA for their support for the launch. Thank you.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Thank you, Hans. Next up we have Kirt Costello from NASA.
Kirt Costello, ISS Chief Scientist: Thank you. It's great that we've got new crew on orbit today. They're essential for doing the science that we really need to perform on board the ISS. The ISS is an amazing multi-disciplinary lab, and SpaceX CRS-16 is bringing 38 new investigations to the ISS. The ISS has multiple missions, both for NASA and as a national laboratory. We're exploring farther into space with some of the payloads you'll hear about today. We're returning benefits to people here on the Earth. And we're also helping to establish a low Earth orbit economy and a commercial marketplace. The Robotic Refueling Mission, or RRM-3, is bringing new technology to test the capability to robotically refuel spacecraft in space. So we're flying for the first time a cryogenic propellant, and the RRM-3 will be installed exterior to the station and prove out the capability of robots to service and refuel fuel tanks on orbit. This will help us with our goals of someday moving farther out in exploration, either to the moon or to Mars, and the capability of not only having fuel tanks positioned along the way, but also being able to refuel those tanks. Another external investigation on the SpaceX is the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, also known as GEDI. GEDI is a great Earth observation platform that will be looking at the overall tree height, the canopy, of our forests. Overall, GEDI will use LIDAR to detect the tree heights and the terrain types of various forest ecosystems. This will allow us to build up a map over time that will tell us the total carbon carrying capacity of our forests. Not only in the leaf mass and the biomass, but the tree mass as well.
Next we have a number of investigations flying under our national lab banner that are targeting either development of new medical processes or new materials processes that can help us understand how we can use microgravity, especially the environment on station, to produce goods and products that may have a helpful nature here on Earth. The Nalco Champion microbiology investigation is looking at biofilms, the creation of biofilms in pipes and tubing, that has a relevance to our petroleum systems here on Earth. This biofilm can cause corrosion, and we're looking at the difference between biofilms on Earth and in microgravity to understand how we might better prevent or clean these tubes to make sure that our processing of fuels becomes more efficient here on Earth. LambdaVision is developing a layer-by-layer protein deposition system for artificial retinas. They will be looking at laying down retinal proteins that can then be implanted to help with both macular degeneration and [retinitis pigmentosa]. Tympanogen is a company looking at hydrogel formation and drug release. They have technologies here on the ground that release drugs over time. They'll be looking at the structures of these hydrogels as they're mixed on orbit and compare to those on the ground where we have convection involved in the process. They'll be looking at scanning tunneling microscope pictures to investigate the surface of these gels to see if they get a more standardized, better formation, as we see in liquid crystals grown in space. And we also have STaARS BioScience-7. This is a tissue chip platform, one of our first in collaboration with the NIH NCATS program. In this program, CASIS and NIH NCATS are looking at the aging and a process known as immunosenescence in cells. So we're trying to understand better, through these tissue chip models, how cells age and if they do so at a faster rate in microgravity, which is something we've been wondering about our own astronauts. So this will help us understand the cellular processes involved in that aging process.
And last but not least, we've got a number of student projects flying under the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy campaign. This campaign challenge, built by CASIS in team with Marvel, has identified two teams to participate. In this case we have a high school student and a college student that have prepared their investigations for on orbit. One looking at the application of dental adhesive on board the Space Station, and whether or not that can be cured properly. And the other looking at aeroponics, growing plants just using a water misting system, something that also hasn't been done on the ISS to date. So we're very excited to have not only our well-developed investigators who've been building investigations for many years finally flying to Station, but also these newcomers, and our younger generation involved as well.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Thank you. Now we'll go to Clay Flinn, from the 45th Space Wing.
Clay Flinn, 45th Space Wing: Thank you, Tori. Good afternoon. The principle feature that will affect the weather for tomorrow's count is the cold front we have to the north. If you could bring up the satellite picture. If you'll note, we do have quite a bit of cloud cover just to our north, over central Florida and extending into north Florida. The front itself is actually in north Florida and extending down into the panhandle. We're pre-frontal at this time. We're southwesterly flow, very warm flow, moisture's increasing, so we'd expect to have showers and isolated thunderstorms this afternoon. That threat should begin to wane several hours after the sun sets, with really just a slimmed down isolated shower threat late this evening during the overnight hours. Can't totally rule out an isolated thunderstorm tomorrow morning, but the greatest threat is really this afternoon into the first few hours of the evening. The front itself really doesn't push over us until about sunrise tomorrow morning. And then as we approach the noon hour the front should be just to our south. With the front to our south, we expect to continue to have residual cloudy conditions over us with some isolated showers. Really the greater threat is probably thick cloud layer, residual clouds behind the front. But certainly you can have an isolated shower or two during the count and near T-0. So that would bring in the cumulus cloud concern as well as the flight through precipitation concern. Should we be on the path for a 24-hour delay, that front that is in north Florida continues to push to the south. It will be in south Florida, perhaps the Florida straights, the next day with fairer conditions expected. The pressure gradient tightens just a little bit, so we would expect to see the winds picking up a bit for a 24-hour delay, to 25 mph, but otherwise fair conditions.
So if you could bring up the forecast charts, I'll go ahead and go through those now. You'll note for tomorrow's count, the gradient will remain about, support about what we have now. About 15-20 mph during the count tomorrow, and during the window. The temperature will be 72 degrees Fahrenheit at T-0, or that's what it's expected to be. I mentioned our principle concern with a frontal boundary just to our south will be residual clouds behind the front. So that would introduce a thick cloud layer concern. I think the bulk of the showers will be to the south. So a slight threat of showers as we approach the window, or approach T-0, with a slight threat of cumulus clouds. So the principle concern, the greater threat, would be thick cloud layers, residual clouds behind that front. For the 24-hour delay-- I should say a 40% chance of violation, or as some folks like to say, a 60% go chance tomorrow.
Should we go to a 24-hour delay, weather conditions do improve quite a bit. The front, as I mentioned, is down south. We'll have fair skies, just a very few bit of clouds over us. At the time, they'll be relatively low clouds, so not really a concern at all. Our pressure gradient picks up, so we'll be 20-25 mph. Good visibility, about 7 statute miles. And just a 10% chance of violation, and it's relatively slight because we're certainly below the liftoff constraints. So Tuesday a little marginal, the front should be to the south, and we'll just have to watch how fast that front moves and how quickly we clear. And then on Wednesday the weather's quite favorable. And that's all I have Tori.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Thank you, Clay. At this time we'll take questions from the audience. And again, for those of you following on social media, you can ask questions using the hashtag #askNASA on twitter. And for those of you in the room, please remember to raise your hand, wait for the microphone, state your name and affiliation, and to whom you're directing your question. We'll take the first question on the far right. Yes.
Chris Gebhardt, NASASpaceflight: Chris Gebhardt, with NASASpaceflight. When you say the timeline is tight to make it with the mouse food issue, how tight do you mean? If it's a car analogy, is it the GPS telling you you're going to get there right at the time you want to get there, or is there still some lee-way in there?
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: So we've been working with our SpaceX colleagues to change the, you have a normal loading time when you do the late load, and we're going to be past that. So as far as we're working with the teams now is how much further can we go? And so right now I believe the rodent were going to be loaded, Kirt [looks to Kirt], around midnight or 1AM or so, so maybe, with the team arriving in Orlando around 9PM, it's probably, push that an hour or so, hour and a half or so. Now, if there's delays because of the weather that you just heard, and we can't make the timeline, then we'll get together and we'll stand down and we'll go look for the 90% go day.
Chris Gebhardt, NASASpaceflight: And for Hans, the stand-down for the SSO-A flight for stage 2 inspections, was that a common thing with this rocket, did you have to do the same inspections on this stage 2, or was it unique to that vehicle on the west coast?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: So we just verified that we don't have to do that on this side, that it's unique to Vandenberg and launch equipment there. So, no.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Okay. I also just want to quickly mention that we have a phone bridge available for media who wish to call in, and we'll take our next question from Ken Thornsley. [it's actually Ken Kremer]
Ken Kremer, SpaceUpClose: Hi, thank you. For Hans and Joel, first of all, congratulations to both of you on great launches. And ORISIS-REx, too, just arrived, so spectacular day for science. My question for you two is, I wonder if you can clarify a little bit, give us an update on DM-1 launching. Apparently Administrator Bridenstine made some comments last week that January 7th might not be the date. So I wonder if you could clarify that and, Hans, tell us where it is in the process of things.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Okay. Good question. We have all the parts on Demo 1 at the Cape at this point in time. We're going through final integration. We're going through final tests. We're going through a lot of additional analysis, verification on requirements, and the whole company focus is certainly, after CRS-16, back on Demo 1. What I could see is a couple of days because of traffic. For example, CRS-16 is actually, at the same time, on the Station. So there's lots of traffic, lots of crew time requirements, so we need to sort that out. But our target is, at this point in time, mid-January, and pushing as hard and diligent as we can for this particular launch. And so, at the end of the day, I want to really point out that it's way more important for us to get Dragon 2 safely up there and make sure that the mission is successful than anything else in terms of schedule and timeline.
Ken Kremer, SpaceUpClose: So there's no issue with parachute testing and things like that?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: No, we're working through issues, obviously. I mean, every launch has things that we work through, to make sure they work fine. Demo 1 has four parachutes actually, that's a change from Dragon 1 to Dragon 2. So those parachutes actually have more redundancy than on Dragon 1 and they're also reinforced on Demo 1, so pretty sure it's going to be successful.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Next we'll go to the phone. We have Stephen Clark from Spaceflight Now.
Stephen Clark, Spaceflight Now: Hi, thanks for taking my question. I have a couple questions I think for Hans. First of all, can you update us on SpaceX's move in to one of the Firing Rooms at Kennedy Launch Control Center. I know that's either been activated or is close to being activated. Can you talk about when that was used or when that's going to be used, and will it be used tomorrow? And what's the plan going forward with your launch and landing control center down by the south gate? And secondly for Hans, you have two launches in a little more than 24 hours now from two different coasts. I'm curious, I know you have redundant launch teams on each coast, but what's the fastest conceivably, at the present time, that you could turn around a launch from different pads? With the current layout of the launch teams. Thanks.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Thanks Stephen. First to the first question. The Launch Control Formerly Known As Firing Room 4 has been used on I think our last mission here from the Cape. It was very successful. I personally enjoy the place. There's a great view of the pad when you launch from 39. We launch from 40 here and we're quite ready to use it, so we're not going to use it this time. Going forward, we will use Launch Control Formerly Known As Firing Room 4 more and more. It's a great place. Also closer to this room. So not for this time but going forward yes. And the second question was? Sorry. What was the second question?
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Stephen, do you mind repeating your question?
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: About launching from both coasts.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Oh, launching from both coasts. Exactly. Okay, good. So this 24 hours is approximately my comfort zone for reviewing data and going stuff. We can push this a little bit closer, it depends a little bit on what time of day this is. So in other words if you do have a launch really early in the morning, and then another one late at night, you might go as low as 13-14 hours. But obviously you have to make sure that nothing on the just-flown booster has an effect on the next booster. So 24 hours is enough time to review the data. Could be pushed a little bit more, but there's obviously a time where it gets too tight.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Okay. Next on the phone we have Irene Klotz from Aviation Week.
Irene Klotz, Aviation Week: [10s of room ambience over the phone line]
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Okay. We'll go ahead and take questions from the audience. Please, go ahead.
Chris Gebhardt, NASASpaceflight: Chris Gebhardt with NASASpaceflight again. Hans, because you mentioned the timelines for this mission coming back in mid-January. Can this cargo Dragon be up there on Station, or free flying in orbit when the DM-1 crew vehicle launches? Is SpaceX capable of having two Dragons on orbit at the same time?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Good question, yeah. It's one of those "In principle, yes," but... When Dragon is on the Station it's relatively quiet in the control room and we could run another mission. We've done this actually many times that we've had other missions at the same time. And that's something that we routinely do. If both are free-flying, that's a little bit more effort, and we've got to do that later. And in general, we must be able to handle more than one Dragon on the Station. So this is not a technical problem, this is more a problem of focusing on Demo 1 and making sure that Demo 1 is really ready to go and not being distracted by any other missions in parallel. So I think that's a benefit, if you can separate them. If we have to, then we can fly both at the same time, but the overhead is obviously there.
Emre Kelly, Florida Today: Hi, Emre Kelly with Florida Today. Joel, I know this is in the weeds, can we get an exact launch time for tomorrow, down to the second? And also, when it comes to the rodents, can you go into a little bit more detail about that food? If the rodents aren't ready, does that impact other experiments flying? Is this food they're going to consume on the Station, so if they get new food, could that go bad two weeks from now? What's the deal there?
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: Okay, so basically the launch time moves about 22 minutes earlier every day. So Hans said 1:16. We'll go get you the second, I don't have that with me today. [turns to Hans] Do you have the--
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: I have it, yeah. It's 51 seconds, so it's 1:38:51 for the first day, and then the backup, uh, the backup might have moved. I have 1:16:18, but it might have moved two or three seconds.
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: As far as the rodents and the food, so what we're doing now is we're assuming all the food is suspect, not only the food that was going to be loaded today but the food we already had loaded. So we're going to replace all that food. Rodents is one of our primary mission objectives, so it's important enough for us that if we're not ready to go with the rodents, we'll go ahead and delay a day. And so from that, it's an impact of a day. If we go down that path. But like I said, the SpaceX team has given up some margin in their timeline. They're working with us. We're doing things a little quicker. And we're still going to try and make tomorrow's launch time.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Okay. Next we'll go back to the phone line for Irene Klotz with Aviation Week.
Irene Klotz, Aviation Week: Hi. Can you hear me this time?
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Yes, we can hear you.
Irene Klotz, Aviation Week: Great. Thank you. I have a few questions, the first for Joel. What is the current plan on reflight of the Soyuz MS-10? When would Nick Hague and Aleksey Ovchinin fly?
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: So today it was announced after the Soyuz docking that we'll refly Nick and Aleksey, along with Christina Koch, in March. March 1st of 2019.
Irene Klotz, Aviation Week: Okay. Thanks very much, appreciate that. And for Hans, two questions. The first is how far off was Mr. Steven from payload fairing half splashdown. And the other question for you is, is SpaceX still planning on back-to-back flights within 24 hours of the same Block 5 next year?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Yeah, thank you Irene. So I don't know how much we missed it by on this particular flight this morning. Or this afternoon, rather. But this is actually an older version of the fairing. There's an upgrade that we had. And that upgrade will make it easier for Mr. Steven to find the fairing. But I can't answer your question because I was just running out before I got that. However, I do know that we have some really awesome footage of Mr. Steven on the webcast. So it's definitely worth taking a look at that. And the other question, what was that again? Sorry, I can only do one question at a time, I guess. [laughs]
Irene Klotz, Aviation Week: Okay, about the Block 5 reflights within 24 hours next year. Is that still looking like something you might attempt to do.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Correct. That's still on the bucket list. It depends a little bit on how the missions work out. I hope we can do this next year, in 2019 rather, but it might slip a little bit. It's certainly something that we do want to try as soon as we get a chance. And it depends on basically which missions are ready to do this.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Thank you. [points into audience] Go ahead.
John McGill, Wyandotte Cable: John McGill with Wyandotte Cable. This question is for Joel. How many spacecraft are berthed at the Space Station right now and what is the record number?
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: So we have a Cygnus spacecraft that's berthed, with the recent launch of the Antares rocket. We have two Progresses and two Soyuz attached right now. And so that's the complement of Visiting Vehicles. And with the SpaceX-16, that'll be two berthed vehicles. As far as what's the record, this is probably, I'll have to go back and look at my history, but I think six is the record, where we're at today.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Next we'll go back to Ken Thornsley [again, it's actually Ken Kremer]. Front row. Ken, go ahead and raise your hand again.
Ken Kremer, SpaceUpClose: Hi, Ken Kremer for Hans. Going back to the 24-hour recycle. What I've noticed, when you've come back to Cape Canaveral, you've had some difficulty, it seems like, with the leg retraction. I'm wondering if you could talk a little about that. They've been retracted against the side, and then they were let down flush and then they were all dissected. I thought your goal was to retract them and bring them in, and not have to disassemble them and put them back on. Some I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about that. And for Kirt, can you talk a little bit more about this food for the mice? I'm just curious how it could get contaminated. Did it get moldy? Was it an old lot? Or what? How did it fit through the cracks? Thanks.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Yeah, on the legs. I don't have the details on why we take them off right now, if what you say-- But I can confirm folding them up, basically in the launch configuration, that is the ultimate goal. Otherwise you lose too much time, obviously. So yeah, that's the goal. I'm not sure what the current process or problem is. Sorry.
Kirt Costello, ISS Chief Scientist: And your question as far as the food bars are concerned, they're shipped in sterile packaging, but the food bars have to be manipulated to put on a plate, to go inside the mouse habitat. It's suspected that when that happened, they were exposed, and mold started to grow on them. This is something we're still looking into though, and there'll be an investigation as to how they got contaminated.
Ken Kremer, SpaceUpClose: But if they were exposed, how would that explain the bars you want to replace on the ISS itself, that are already there? If I understood you right. [Looks at Joel] Or maybe you mentioned that, actually.
Kirt Costello, ISS Chief Scientist: I think actually what Joel was referring to is, we already pre-pack the food, and so that food is already on the SpaceX. That food that is now suspect will just be returned and not used.
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: So that was packed. So we do our packing with an early pack, and then we have our late packing which we're going to do today. So the majority of the food bars, that was all loaded early. But what we're doing is we're assuming those are suspect and we're planning accordingly. And we'll go ahead and just fly all new food bars. And we'll do the extra loading tonight, when we have all new hardware.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: We'll take a couple more questions before we wrap up. First we'll go to social media.
NASA Social Media: Hi, I've got two questions that came in for Hans on twitter. The first one is, you mentioned an upgraded fairing earlier, do you mean a different upgrade from the one that was used the first time in February on the PAZ mission?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: I think it is the same upgrade. This is, I could have said it the other way around, that we used an older version instead of that, but I think that is the upgrade. It's mostly related to recovery, nothing on the fairing itself. And thank you for waiting between the two questions. [laughter]
NASA Social Media: Of course. [laughs] And the second question would be, why does Dragon require two days to rendezvous with the ISS?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Oh, um, it's a good question. [looks to Joel]
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: So it's a phase angle. And you have to look at the angle at the launch time, where Space Station is with respect to where the orbit of the Dragon is inserted. And what happens is you have to catch up to the International Space Station. And so you can pick days where you can do a two day rendezvous, a four day rendezvous, or like you saw this morning with the Soyuz, a four orbit or six hour rendezvous. It depends on the launch day you pick, and that drives the phase angle, which results in when docking occurs.
NASA Social Media: Thank you.
Matt Haskell, The Aerospace Geek: Hi, Matt Haskell with The Aerospace Geek. My question is for Hans. With regards to the fairings, when they don't land in the net, and they land on the salt water softly, as referred to with today's recovery, what is the capability of reusing those? Is it possible to refly those, or is the salt water damage too much?
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX: Uh, we're actually looking into this. It depends, we're basically so close now to the place where they go into the water, it's something we can now look closer [at], and I'm not sure what's going to happen with that, but that is certainly a possibility.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Okay next we'll go to the phone. We have Jim Siegel with SpaceFlight Insider. Jim?
Jim Siegel, SpaceFlight Insider: Thank you. I'm curious about what cargo is coming back on CRS-16 in mid-January or so. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Joel Montalbano, ISS Deputy Manager: So I'll start out and then I'll let Kirt add. I mean generally, we're bringing back 20 live rodents, and so that'll be one thing we're bringing back. We'll continue to bring back some of the science that we have frozen on board. And so as you can imagine with the scientists, when we do experiments on board, we go ahead and freeze them in our -80 degrees freezer. And that starts a certain lifetime clock. So we'll go ahead and bring some of those samples home. I'm sure we have some hardware that we'll bring home, things that failed on orbit that we want to go ahead and take a look at. I can go get you a list Jim, and we can get that sent to you, but those are probably the highlights. I don't know, Kirt, are there any big things that I missed?
Kirt Costello, ISS Chief Scientist: Not really. We've got a number of samples coming back, probably in the range of 50 or so experiments that will be returning samples, along with, of course, our human research samples. Some of those will be coming down on the Dragon as well. So we're looking forward to getting all of that science back. The timeline is tight for our rodent research operations, and we expect again to have 20 of those animals returned live with the SpaceX-16.
Tori McLendon, Moderator: Okay, thank you. Thank you all for joining us, that's all the time that we have for today. NASA TV coverage of tomorrow's launch will begin at 1PM Eastern. You can also follow the SpaceX CRS-16 mission activities on twitter using @NASA and @SpaceX. And on the web at www.nasa.gov/spacex. Thank you.