Departure from Space Station on NASA TV to Air SpaceX Cargo Dragon
A SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft is expected to depart the International Space Station on Friday, January 21. NASA Television, the agency's, and the agency's will provide live broadcast of the spacecraft's undocking and departure beginning at 10:15 a.m. EST.
SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will send commands at 10:40 a.m. for Dragon to escape from the space-facing port of the station's Harmony module and fire its thrusters to get away. Controllers will command a deorbit burn the following day.
The spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown on Saturday, January 22, off the coast of Florida. NASA TV will not broadcast the splashdown, but the agency will provide updates on the upcoming eve.
Dragon will return more than 4,900 pounds of supplies and valuable scientific experiments to Earth during the trip to NASA's Space Station Processing Facility in Florida, providing researchers with minimal sample exposure to Earth's gravity.
Some of the scientific discoveries that Dragon will return to Earth include:
- Last light: A state-of-the-art light imaging microscope, the Light Microscopy Module () will return after about 12 years on the station. LMM, sponsored by NASA's Division of Biological and Physical Sciences, made it possible to observe and record the way matter is organized and moves on the microscopic level, and supported ground-breaking colloid research, plant studies, and thermophysics experiments.
- Tiny structures, assemble:The physics study is returning samples that could provide insight into how to harness nanoparticles to fabricate and manufacture new materials, including medical diagnostics and thermal shields for Earth and space applications.
- Cell signaling in microgravity:The ESA (European Space Agency) investigation contributes to understanding of how the human body responds to microgravity. The study could support development of countermeasures to help astronaut crew members maintain optimum health on future space missions.
After launching a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy, SpaceX's 24th commercial supply services mission delivered more than 6,500 pounds of research investigations, crew supplies, and vehicle hardware.
At: SpaceX, visit the University of Massachusetts to learn more.