Starting tonight at 9:30 PDT, Space X will go live with their pre-launch coverage of a Falcon 9 Launch. The purpose of this launch is to provide a commercial resupply services mission (CRS) to the International Space Station. This is the 9th mission by Space X under NASA’s CRS contract.
When is the launch window?
There are two launch windows this evening. The first window is at 0445 UTC (12:45am EDT, 9:45pm PDT) and another backup window at 0400 UTC on July 20th.
What will the Dragon carry?
The mission will carry almost 5,000 pounds of supplies, equipment and science research (Full list here). The spacecraft will also carry an international docking adaptor that will allow US-build crew vehicles (Boeing’s CS-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon) to dock at the ISS.
Will there be an experimental landing?
Yes! After the first stage of separation, the Falcon 9 will attempt to land on Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral in Florida. So far, Space X is 3 out of 4 for the year. Landing the first stage is always a challenge though and this one will be no different.
How long will it take the Dragon to get to the ISS?
The Dragon will arrive at the ISS about two days after launch. If all goes according to plan, the module will rendezvous with the ISS. The crew on board the ISS will then use the station’s robotic arm to capture the module and attach it to the station.
When will the Dragon module come home?
The Dragon will stay at the ISS for about a month before returning home. When the Dragon’s mission at the ISS is complete, it will leave the station, then conduct a deorbit burn about 5 hours later. After a 30 minute reentry process, the craft will splash down in the pacific ocean near the coast of Baja California.