Thursday, February 14, 2013

Next SpaceX Dragon Launch Set For March 1

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- NASA and its international partners are targeting Friday, March 1, 2013, as the launch date for the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).


The launch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. EST (9:10 a.m. CST) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida


SpaceX's Dragon capsule will be filled with about 1,200 pounds of supplies for the space station crew and experiments being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory. 


On March 2, Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn of NASA is scheduled to use the station's robot arm to grapple Dragon following its rendezvous with the station. The astronauts will attach the Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module for a few weeks while astronauts unload cargo.  They then will load experiment samples for return to Earth. 


Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth on March 25 for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.  It will be bringing back more than 2,300 pounds of experiment samples and equipment.