NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting 12:51 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 4, for the launch of its 19th resupply mission to the International Space Station under contract with the agency. Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Tuesday, Dec. 3, with prelaunch events.
The Dragon spacecraft, which will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, will be filled with supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science investigations and technology demonstrations that will occur during Expeditions 61 and 62.
About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit. It will then deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. When it arrives at the station Dec. 7, Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will grapple Dragon with NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan acting as a backup. NASA’s Jessica Meir will assist the duo by monitoring telemetry during Dragon’s approach. The station crew will monitor Dragon vehicle functions during rendezvous. After Dragon’s capture, mission control in Houston will send commands for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Harmony Earth-facing port.
Full mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):
Tuesday, Dec. 3
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Saturday, Dec. 7
Dragon will remain at the space station until Jan. 4, when the spacecraft will return to Earth with research and return cargo.