About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit and deploy its solar arrays. A carefully choreographed series of thruster firings will bring the spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station Sunday, Dec. 17. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will capture Dragon using the space station’s robotic arm. Ground controllers then will send commands to robotically install the spacecraft on the station’s Harmony module.
The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth in mid-January with results of previous experiments.
The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed, but more information about media accreditation is available by contacting Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also on Sunday, Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 2:21 a.m. (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
NASA TV coverage for Dragon arrival and crew launch Sunday is as follows:
- 1:15 a.m. – Launch coverage begins
- 4:30 a.m. – Dragon rendezvous at the space station and capture coverage
- 7:30 a.m. – Installation coverage