NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX will launch the 21st commercial resupply services (CRS-21) mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:39 a.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 5. The CRS-21 will provide science investigations, supplies, and equipment for NASA.
The upgraded Dragon spacecraft will be filled with supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 64 and 65. In addition, the Dragon’s unpressurized trunk will transport the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock an airtight segment used for transfer of payloads between the inside and outside of the station.
Expedition 51/52 crew member Mark Vande Hei during ISS Joint AL Hardware training with instructors Michael Dino, Eryn Beisner.
Serving as an outside toolbox for astronauts conducting spacewalks and provides payload hosting, robotics testing, and satellite deployment.
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 space station is planned for Sunday, Dec. 6. Dragon will autonomously dock to the station’s Harmony module with Expedition 64 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover of NASA monitoring operations
The Dragon spacecraft will return to Earth with research and return cargo, with splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, after spending about one month attached to the space station.
Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, it includes curated launch resources, mission behind-the-scenes, notifications about NASA social interactions, and the opportunity for a virtual launch passport stamp following a successful launch.
To participate, members of the public can register for email updates or RSVP to the Facebook event for social media updates about mission information, highlights, and interaction opportunities. To find out more, visit here
Members of the public also can share in the journey through a variety of activities, including:
NASA’s Virtual Launch Passport
Print, fold, and get ready to fill your virtual launch passport. Stamps will be emailed following launches to all registrants (who are registered via email through Eventbrite). Passports available here