Dragon to Make Resupply Run to International Space Station

The Canadarm 2 reaches out to grapple a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and prepare it to be pulled into its port on the International Space Station. Dragon was installed on the Harmony module where remained for the next five weeks. Photo credit: NASA
The Canadarm 2 reaches out to grapple a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and prepare it to be pulled into its port on the International Space Station. Dragon was installed on the Harmony module where remained for the next five weeks.
Photo credit: NASA

Next Commercial Resupply Services Mission: SpaceX CRS-13
Launch Time and Date: 2:53 p.m. EST, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017
Lift Off: Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
Launch Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9, 230 feet-tall
Spacecraft: Dragon, 20 feet high, 12 feet-in diameter
Payload: Dragon will deliver cargo and material to support science investigations aboard the space station.
Return to Earth: After about one month attached to the space station, Dragon will return with results of earlier experiments, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Payloads on Board: https://go.nasa.gov/2mMUdSY

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Liftoff Sets Dragon on Course for Wednesday Rendezvous

Images credit: NASA TV

Crew members aboard the International Space Station can expect a special delivery Wednesday morning. A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft loaded with more than 6,400 pounds of supplies, equipment and science materials is heading their way after the successful liftoff of SpaceX CRS-12 at 12:31 p.m. EDT from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.

The on-time liftoff marked a spectacular conclusion to a countdown that proceeded like clockwork throughout the morning, aided by cooperative weather conditions across the launch site. With a sonic boom sounding across Florida’s Space Coast, the first stage returned to SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station while the rocket’s second stage finished the task of propelling Dragon to orbit.

After a successful separation from the Falcon 9, the Dragon spacecraft deployed its solar arrays and embarked on its two-day pursuit of the orbiting laboratory. Watch the rendezvous and grapple live on NASA TV starting at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Here’s one more look back at today’s launch:

Dragon’s Solar Arrays Deploying

Dragon’s solar arrays are unfurling and the spacecraft is on course to deliver more than 6,400 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station two days from now. Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, on NASA TV, with installation coverage set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

10 Minutes Until Launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft await liftoff from NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft await liftoff from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Image credit: NASA TV

The countdown continues toward liftoff at 12:31 p.m. EDT, 10 minutes from now. During this time, the Falcon 9’s engines will be chilled to condition them for launch, the strongback support structure will be moved away from the rocket, the flight computer will run its prelaunch checks and the rocket’s propellant tanks will be brought to flight pressure. Finally, SpaceX Launch Director Mike Taylor will verify “go for launch.”