WASHINGTON, DC – NASA commercial partner SpaceX currently is targeting Sunday, June 28, for the launch of its seventh cargo delivery to the International Space Station under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 9 a.m. EDT.
The company’s Falcon 9 rocket will lift off at 10:21 a.m. carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft to the station from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft will be filled with more than 4,000 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials for the science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 44 and 45.
In addition to launch coverage, NASA also will host a series of prelaunch news conferences and events on Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
All briefings will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.
Science payloads will offer new insight to combustion in microgravity, perform the first space-based observations of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere, continue solving potential crew health risks and make new strides toward being able to grow food in space. Research continues to support the twins study and one-year mission investigations with NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly.
This mission also is launching more than 30 student experiments, all of which are flying under the U.S. National Laboratory managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).
The first of two International Docking Adapters for the station will be delivered in Dragon’s unpressurized trunk. The adapters will enable space station docking of commercial crew spacecraft, including the Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon.
A Sunday launch will result in the Dragon spacecraft arriving at the space station on Tuesday, June 30. Expedition 44 Flight Engineer Scott Kelly of NASA will use the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and capture Dragon at approximately 7 a.m. Station commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will support Kelly as they operate from the station’s cupola.
NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and grapple of Dragon will begin at 5:30 a.m. Coverage of Dragon’s installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 8:30 a.m.
If the launch does not occur on Sunday, the next launch opportunity would be at 9:58 a.m. on Monday, June 29, resulting in a grapple and berthing on Thursday, July 2.
After more than five weeks at the space station, the spacecraft will return with more than 1,400 pounds of cargo, including science experiments, crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, space station hardware, and trash.