NASA Invites Public to Virtually Join Next Cargo Launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocketThe SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo capsule soars upward after lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3, 2021, during the company's 22nd Commercial Resupply Services mission for NASA to the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting Saturday, Aug. 28, at 3:37 a.m. EDT to launch its 23rd commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff will be from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver new science investigations, supplies, and equipment for the international crew.

Live coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Friday, Aug. 27.

Dragon will deliver a variety of NASA investigations, including one that will determine if metabolites from grape skins and seeds used in winemaking could help prevent and treat osteoporosis. A new robotic arm scheduled for demonstration could reveal potential uses on Earth, including in disaster relief. Another experiment will test an implantable, remote-controlled drug delivery system that will utilize a new research facility aboard the orbiting laboratory. Several Girl Scouts’ experiments also will use this new facility to study plants, ants, and brine shrimp in microgravity.

About 12 minutes after launch, Dragon will separate from the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. Arrival to the station is planned for Sunday, Aug. 29. Dragon will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module, with Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA monitoring operations.

The spacecraft is expected to spend about a month attached to the orbiting outpost before it returns to Earth with research and return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Saturday, Aug. 28

3:15 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins for the 3:37 a.m. launch.

Sunday, Aug. 29

9:30 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for Dragon docking to space station.

11 a.m. – Docking.

NASA TV launch coverage

Live coverage of the launch on NASA TV will begin at 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

Attend the launch virtually

Members of the public can register to attend this launch virtually. Registrants will receive mission updates and activities by email. NASA’s virtual guest program for this mission also includes curated launch resources, notifications about related opportunities, and a virtual guest passport stamp following a successful launch.

Watch and engage on social media

You can let people know you’re following the mission on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtags #Dragon and #NASASocial. You can also stay connected by following and tagging these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA@NASAKennedy@NASASocial@Space_Station@ISS_Research@ISS National Lab@SpaceX

Facebook: NASANASAKennedyISSISS National Lab

Instagram: @NASA@NASAKennedy@ISS, @ISSNationalLab@SpaceX

Learn more about the SpaceX resupply mission at https://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

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