This Friday, SpaceX will be launching its 20th resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. A Dragon spacecraft will carry cargo including scientific equipment, supplies for the crew, and a new research platform called Bartolomeo to be installed on the outside of the station.
SpaceX has been contracted by NASA to carry supplies to the ISS as part of the commercial resupply program. In the future, SpaceX will be performing more services for NASA including ferrying astronauts to the ISS as part of the commercial crew program.
The launch on Friday will be the last SpaceX launch under the current NASA CRS-1 contact. SpaceX will continue performing resupply missions under a new CRS-2 contract beginning with the next scheduled resupply mission in August this year.
How to watch the launch and capture
The launch is scheduled to take place at 8:50 p.m. PT on Friday, March 6. Coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. PT.
Coverage of the Dragon spacecraft’s arrival at the ISS is scheduled to begin at 1:30 a.m. PT on Saturday, March 7. At around 3 a.m. PT, the Dragon will be captured by the ISS’s robotic arm. It will be installed onto the nadir port of the station’s Harmony module from approximately 4:30 a.m. PT.
To watch the launch and capture, you can tune into NASA TV using the video below:
How to watch the pre-launch briefing
Before the launch goes ahead there will be a news conference, also shown on NASA TV, with representatives from SpaceX, from the International Space Station program, and from the U.S. Air Force, to discuss the launch and the cargo being carried by the mission. Participants in the briefing are to include:
- Joel Montalbano, deputy manager for International Space Station Program
- Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist for International Space Station Program
- Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX
- Mike McAleenan, launch weather officer, U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing
The pre-launch briefing will begin at 1 p.m. PT on Friday, March 6.