SpaceX will launch its 22nd cargo mission under NASA’s second Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-22) contract on Thursday, June 3. A Falcon 9 rocket, topped with a Dragon capsule, is waiting vertically at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex-39A to liftoff at 1:29 p.m. EDT. Dragon will deliver over 7,300lbs (pounds) of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). The uncrewed spacecraft will operate autonomously; It is expected to arrive at the orbiting laboratory by Saturday, June 5 at 5:00 a.m. EDT. The agency will broadcast the CRS-22 mission Live in the video linked below.
Falcon 9 and Dragon went vertical on the pad last night ahead of tomorrow’s launch → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK pic.twitter.com/8KDbygzLxK— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 2, 2021
The U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron shared during a press conference that it predicts 60% chance of favorable weather conditions for liftoff tomorrow. “It’s Florida, it’s summertime, and that means showers and storms; the main issue would be a few of those showers that come off of the coast and head toward our launch facility,” said Mark Burger, weather officer with 45th Weather Squadron. “However, given that there’s quite a lot of real estate between each one of those showers, I do think there’s still a better-than-average chance that we’ll be able to thread the needle and get in a good launch opportunity for tomorrow.”
Dragon’s unpressurized trunk will carry two roll-out solar arrays to upgrade ISS power system. The spacecraft will also deliver goodies for the ISS crewmembers, equipment, and supplies needed to conduct science and research at the orbiting laboratory. Some of the goodies the crew members will receive will be fresh food, including: apples , oranges, tomatoes, onion, lemons, peppers, and avocados. The agency also shared that they also packed 10 food nutrition physiology containers, 15 standard menu food containers, 30 containers the crew selected with their coffee tea preferences. Dragon carry dozens of science research supplies inside its pressurized cabin, including tiny creatures and plants. Some of the important cargo that needs to be transported in a pressurized environment includes: Tardigrades, to study how the creatures can survive under extreme conditions; Bobtail squids, to “examine the effects of spaceflight on interactions between beneficial microbes and their animal hosts.” Dragon will also carry cotton root plants to determine which requires less water, and supplies for an “experiment that could help develop better pharmaceuticals and therapies for treating kidney disease on Earth.
Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA’s Akihiko Hoshide and ESA’s Thomas Pesquet, who launched to ISS in April, will be waiting to unload the Dragon capsule upon arrival. “Just a couple of months ago, the Crew-2 crew got on board, and now they’re waiting to receive all this science and do it, so it’s really exciting for us at SpaceX,” said Sarah Walker, director of Dragon Mission Management at SpaceX. “Thanks to NASA for your ongoing partnership; this is an exciting mission, and tomorrow is just one more example of a long history that we’re thankful for.” Dragon will stay at the Space Station for around one month, then return with the results of the previous scientific experiments. See schedule linked below for information on NASA's Live broadcast in Eastern Time.
June 3, Thursday
12:30 p.m. EDT – Coverage of the launch of NASA’s SpaceX CRS-22 commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station
1:00 p.m. – Coverage of the launch of NASA’s SpaceX CRS-22 commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station; launch scheduled at 1:29 p.m.
June 5, Saturday
3:30 a.m. – Coverage of the rendezvous and docking of the SpaceX CRS-22 cargo craft to the International Space Station; docking scheduled at 5 a.m. EDT
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.