Falcon and Dragon Poised for Launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA's SpaceX 26th commercial resupply services mission
NASA’s SpaceX 26th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station is set to launch today, Nov. 26, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA

The rocket awaiting launch this afternoon is the SpaceX Falcon 9, a two-stage vehicle topped by the company’s uncrewed Dragon spacecraft. The Falcon 9 first stage is powered by nine Merlin engines that ignite at T-0; its second stage has a single Merlin engine that takes over after separation of the first stage. Merlin engines run on a combination of cryogenic liquid oxygen and a refined kerosene fuel called RP-1.

Installed atop the rocket, the Dragon spacecraft is loaded with cargo bound for the International Space Station. The Dragon offers a pressurized section as well as an unpressurized “trunk” section for additional cargo. Also located in the trunk are the spacecraft’s power-producing solar arrays.

Read more about the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft.