NASA TV Coverage Set for Next Space Station Resupply Mission with SpaceX


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:50 p.m. EST on March 6, 2020, carrying the uncrewed cargo Dragon spacecraft on its journey to the International Space Station for NASA and SpaceXs 20th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-20) mission.
Credits: NASA/Tony Gray and Tim Terry

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 agencys Kennedy Space Center in Florida. CRS-21 will deliver science investigations, supplies, and equipment for NASA and is the first mission under the companys second Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.Live coverage will air on NASA Television and the agencys 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 Dragons 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 rockets second stageand 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 stations 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.

Full mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Friday, Dec. 4

  • 2 p.m. One-on-one media opportunities with principal investigators for payloads on CRS-21 at the Kennedy Press Site (compliant with COVID-19 safety protocols).
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