Watch SpaceX Dragon undock from the ISS on Dec. 15 after delay (Image Credit: Space.com)
A SpaceX cargo ship laden with science will undock from the space station Friday (Dec. 15), and you can watch online for free.
SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft will undock from the International Space Station (ISS) at 5:05 p.m. EST (2205 GMT) after a one-day delay due to weather, NASA officials wrote in a blog post Tuesday (Dec. 12).
The Dragon undocking was delayed from Thursday (Dec. 14) due to “unfavorable weather conditions as a result of a cold front passing through the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida,” agency officials stated. Coverage starts at 4:45 p.m. EST (2105 GMT) here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA Television.
The CRS-29 Dragon craft arrived at the space station on Nov. 11 carrying 6,500 pounds (nearly 3,000 kg) of supplies for ISS astronauts, along with a laser experiment. (CRS stands for “Commercial Resupply Services”, and this is the 29th mission SpaceX has flown to the ISS for NASA.)
Dragon is parked at the U.S. Harmony module’s forward port and will bring home 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) of science and hardware, NASA officials wrote in an earlier update Tuesday. This week, the Expedition 70 crew on ISS brought science cargo freezers (which have research samples inside) to Dragon for return to our planet. Also inside Dragon are cargo bags, bearing hardware and some trash.
While Dragon isn’t the only cargo ship for ISS activities, it is unique among the set in that it is designed to survive the fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. This capability allows researchers to retrieve science samples that require refrigeration, or to receive hardware when it is unneeded or requires repairs for shipment back to space.
Two Russian cargo ships, Progress 85 and 86, are also docked to the space station right now alongside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus-19 spacecraft. The other currently docked ISS ships are for crew: The Crew-7 SpaceX Dragon spacecraft designed to carry four astronauts, and the Russian Soyuz MS-24 with three seats on board for crew.