Nosecone Open, Dragon Continues Journey to Space Station

Dragon’s nosecone is open, and the spacecraft is safely in orbit following a launch on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 a.m. EST from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying more than 6,500 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware to the International Space Station.

Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the orbital outpost Wednesday, Dec. 22, at about 3 a.m. EST. Docking coverage will begin at 3 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website.

When it arrives to the space station, Dragon will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module, with Expedition 66 Flight Engineers  Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn of NASA monitoring operations.

SpaceX’s 24th cargo mission to the space station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract will support dozens of new and existing investigations, and carry crucial supplies and hardware to the orbital outpost to support the Expedition 66 crew.

In November, the station surpassed its 21-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help improve life on Earth and also prepare for the agency’s long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. To date, the orbiting laboratory has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.