More than 5,800 pounds of new science experiments and crew supplies are on their way to the International Space Station after the successful launch of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft on Thursday. Dragon blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:44 p.m. EDT and reached orbit less than nine minutes later beginning its day-and-a-half-long trip to the orbital lab.
The U.S. space freighter is scheduled to dock automatically to the Harmony module’s forward port at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday. NASA astronauts Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins will be on duty monitoring Dragon’s automated rendezvous and docking. NASA will begin live coverage on the agency’s app and website at 10 a.m. as Dragon approaches the station for a monthlong stay.
Hines and Watkins along with Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) called down to Mission Control today and discussed Saturday morning’s arrival of Dragon. The quartet also spent Friday configuring station systems to accommodate the critical research Dragon is delivering including a human immune system study, a protein production investigation, and a cancer treatment experiment.
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