A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:50 pm EST on March 6, 2020, carrying the unmanned Dragon spacecraft on its journey to the International Space Station for NASA and SpaceX 20a commercial refueling services mission (CRS-20).
Credits: NASA / Tony Gray and Tim Terry
NASA’s commercial cargo provider SpaceX aims at 11:39 am EST on Saturday, December 5 for the launch of its 21st commercial refueling services mission (CRS-21) to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. CRS-21 will provide scientific investigations, supplies and equipment for NASA and is the first mission under the company’s second commercial refueling services contract with NASA. and Saturday 5th December.
The upgraded Dragon spacecraft will be filled with supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 scientific and research investigations that will take place during Expeditions 64 and 65. In addition to carrying the research to the station, the unpressurized trunk of the Draghi will carry the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock. The space station’s first commercially funded airlock, the Bishop Airlock is an airtight segment used for the 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 external toolbox for astronauts conducting spacewalks.
Approximately 12 minutes after launch, Dragon will separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rockets and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firing to reach the space station. Arrival at the space station is scheduled for Sunday 6 December. Dragon will dock autonomously at the station’s Harmony module with Expedition 64 flight engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover from NASA’s monitoring operations.
The Dragon spacecraft will spend about a month attached to the space station before returning to Earth with the search and return cargo, with splashes in the Atlantic Ocean.
The complete coverage of the mission is as follows (always eastern):
Friday, December 4th
- 14:00 Individual media opportunities with key investigators for payloads on CRS-21 at Kennedy Press Site (compliant with COVID-19 security protocols).