Residents aboard the International Space Station are expecting a cargo delivery Sunday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 on Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Friday afternoon carrying a Dragon spacecraft packed with nearly 7,000 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies and technology demonstrations bound for the orbiting laboratory. The on-time liftoff at 4:43 p.m. EDT set the spacecraft on a two-day chase of the station. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett. View larger)
“We’re very excited to have our cargo and Dragon safely on orbit and we’re looking forward to it arriving at the International Space Station,” said Kirk Shireman, manager of the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, adding that all systems on the station are ready to support the mission.
SpaceX reports the Dragon spacecraft is healthy and performing as expected. Its first orbital adjustment burn is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Dragon will arrive at the station Sunday. Watch the rendezvous and capture live on NASA TV beginning at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on NASA TV. Installation of the Dragon on the bottom side of the station’s Harmony module is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. For updates throughout the mission, visit www.nasa.gov/spacex.
A post-launch news conference will air on NASA TV at 6 p.m. EDT.
Here’s another view of the today’s liftoff with the countdown clock in the foreground. Photo credit: NASA/Frankie Martin
SpaceX successfully landed the Falcon 9’s first stage on a drone ship, nicknamed “Of Course I Still Love You,” located offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. In this screen capture, the first stage is clearly seen standing on the deck of the ship.
Next up for the Dragon is a series of thruster firings that will set up a rendezvous with the orbiting laboratory on Sunday.
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and astronaut Tim Peake of the European Space Agency will capture the spacecraft using the station’s robotic arm. The crew will pressurize the space between the station and Dragon and open the hatch between the two spacecraft the next day.
You can watch the rendezvous and capture live on NASA TV beginning at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on NASA TV. Installation of the Dragon on the bottom side of the station’s Harmony module is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.
Now sailing through its preliminary orbit, the Dragon spacecraft is unfurling its solar arrays.
After a successful launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s Dragon spacecraft is flying solo and beginning its two-day orbital pursuit of the International Space Station.
Dragon’s power-producing solar arrays will begin deploying in about a minute and a half.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s second-stage engine shut down right on time and the company’s Dragon spacecraft is less than a minute away from separation.
Only one minute to go until shutdown of the Falcon 9’s second-stage engine, or SECO. The rocket continues to perform as expected. Meanwhile, the rocket’s first stage successfully landed on a SpaceX drone ship offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.