Editor’s note: SpaceX has successfully launched the Dragon CRS-21 cargo mission for NASA and landed its Falcon 9 rocket. Read our launch wrap story here.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a Dragon cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station on Sunday (Dec. 6), and you can watch it live here.
The CRS-21 mission will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on Saturday (Dec. 5) at 11:17a.m. EST (1617GMT). The Dragon capsule will arrive at the space station Sunday (Dec. 6) at 11:30 a.m. EST (0430 GMT).
You can watch NASA’s live coverage of the prelaunch activities and the launch, rendezvous and docking live in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV, or directly via the agency’s website.
NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting 11:39 a.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 5, for the launch of its 21st commercial resupply services (CRS-21) mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. CRS-21 will deliver science investigations, supplies, and equipment for NASA and is the first mission under the company’s second Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Live coverage will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5.
The upgraded Dragon spacecraft will be filled with supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 64 and 65. In addition to bringing research to the station, the Dragon’s unpressurized trunk will transport the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock. The first commercially funded space station airlock, the Bishop Airlock is an airtight segment used for transfer of payloads between the inside and outside of the station. It provides payload hosting, robotics testing, and satellite deployment while also serving as an outside toolbox for astronauts conducting spacewalks.
About 12 minutes after launch, Dragon will separate from the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. Arrival to the space station is planned for Sunday, Dec. 6. Dragon will autonomously dock to the station’s Harmony module with Expedition 64 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover of NASA monitoring operations.
The Dragon spacecraft will spend about one month attached to the space station before it returns to Earth with research and return cargo, with splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
DELAYED: ULA Delta IV Heavy launching NROL-44 spy satellite
Update for Sept. 30, 11:59 p.m. EDT: The launch attempt was scrubbed after the rocket’s Terminal Countdown Sequencer Rack detected an issue. A new launch target has not been announced.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office Wednesday night (Sept. 30).
The mission, titled NROL-44, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 11:54 p.m. EDT (0354 GMT on Oct. 1). Watch it live in the window above, courtesy of ULA.
Rocket: Delta IV Heavy
Mission: NROL-44 Launch
Date: Sun., Sept. 27, 2020
Launch Time: 12:10 a.m. EDT
Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Mission Information: A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Launch Notes: This will be 141st mission for United Launch Alliance and our 29th for the NRO. It is the 385th Delta launch since 1960, the 12th Delta IV Heavy and the 8th Heavy for the NRO.
Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch; hashtags #DeltaIVHeavy #NROL44
‘ISS Live!’ Tune in to the space station
Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the “ISS Live” broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.
“Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During ‘loss of signal’ periods, viewers will see a blue screen.
“Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.”
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