April 9, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: Watch the CRS-7 Launch Live

Launch of CRS-2. Photo by author.

It’s the busy season in low Earth orbit once again, as missions are set to head to and depart from the International Space Station this summer. And the first mission in the queue is SpaceX’s Dragon resupply capsule, set to head to the ISS this weekend. Launch of CRS-7 is slated for Sunday, June 28th at 14:21 UT/10:21 AM EDT atop a Falcon-9 rocket. Launch occurs from Cape Canaveral and pad SLC-40, and you can watch the whole thing live on NASA TV beginning at 9:00 AM EDT/13:00 UT:

Space X will also attempt to make a dramatic landing of the first stage of the Falcon-9 rocket on its floating platform, and they’ve been getting closer to a successful vertical landing on the platform with every launch… could CRS-7 be a first? The seventh contracted flight for SpaceX to resupply the ISS, CRS-7 is also notable in that it will carry the International Docking Adapter to the station. The IDA-1 will allow for docking of future crewed Dragon flights, which is preferable to the current grapple and berthing technique in use for the Dragon capsule today.

Dragon will spend about two days chasing the ISS prior to grapple by the Canadarm-2 on Tuesday, June 30th for berthing to the nadir node of the Harmony module. Grappling is expected to occur around 7:00 AM EDT/11:00 UT, and NASA TV will go live about an hour and a half prior.

Don’t miss all the action!

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