NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX now is targeting its 14th resupply mission to the International Space Station for no earlier than 4:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 2. Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Sunday, April 1, with pre-launch events.
Packed with almost 5,800 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit, at which point it will deploys its solar arrays and begins a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the International Space Station.
Grapple and berthing to the space station is targeted for April 4. Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Norishege Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, backed up by NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, will supervise the operation of the Canadarm2 robotic arm for Dragon’s capture. After Dragon capture, ground commands will be sent from mission control in Houston for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Harmony module.
Full mission coverage is as follows:
Sunday, April 1
- 2:30 p.m. – What’s on Board science briefing, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This briefing will highlight the following research:
- Dan Close, chief scientific officer at 490 BioTech, will discuss the company’s Metabolic Tracking investigation to evaluate the use of a new method to test, in microgravity, the metabolic impacts of pharmaceutical drugs. This could lead to more effective, less expensive medicines on Earth.
- Torsten Neubert of the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, and principal investigator for the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor, will discuss how this Earth observatory will study severe thunderstorms and their role in the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
- The Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP), developed, owned and operated by Techshot Inc., will serve as a new test bed aboard the space station, able to host 12 separate experiment modules with samples such as plants, cells, protein crystals and fruit flies. Rich Boling, vice president for corporate advancement at Techshot, will discuss the platform, and Sharmila Bhattacharya, a senior scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, will talk about the value of the research that will be conducted on it.
- Howard Levine, chief scientist in the Utilization and Life Science Office at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, will discuss continuing research on growing food in space, as the Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System experiment tests a new way to deliver nutrients to plants.
- 4 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference at Kennedy with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program, SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing.
Monday, April 2
- 4 p.m. – Launch coverage begins for the 4:30 p.m. launch
- 6:30 p.m. – Postlaunch news conference at Kennedy with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX.
Wednesday, April 4
- 5:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous and capture. Capture is scheduled for 7 a.m.
- 8:30 a.m. – Dragon installation to the nadir port of the Harmony module of the station
The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth in May with results of completed experiments.
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For the latest schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit:
Learn more about the SpaceX resupply mission at: