Watch SpaceX launch cargo mission to the space station Thursday night (Image Credit: Space.com)
SpaceX will launch a cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday night (July 14), and you can watch it live.
A robotic SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule is scheduled to lift off atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket Thursday at 8:44 p.m. EDT (0044 GMT on July 15) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
You can watch all of the action — which will include a landing attempt by the Falcon 9’s first stage on a SpaceX droneship in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after liftoff — here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency (opens in new tab). Coverage will begin at 8:15 p.m. EDT (0015 GMT).
The Dragon is packed with about 5,800 pounds (2,630 kilograms) of supplies and scientific hardware on this mission, which is known as Commercial Resupply Services 25, or CRS-25 for short. As that name suggests, it will be the 25th contracted cargo run that SpaceX makes to the orbiting lab for NASA.
Thursday’s liftoff has been a long time coming. CRS-25 was originally supposed to launch on June 10, but technicians noticed elevated vapor levels of hydrazine — the fuel used by Dragon’s Draco thrusters — in part of the capsule’s propulsion system.
So NASA and SpaceX delayed the planned liftoff to June 28. The target date was pushed back again — first to July 11, and then to July 14 — to allow time to replace some hardware and perform further inspections.
CRS-25 will be the third trip to the ISS for this particular Dragon. The capsule also hauled cargo to the orbiting lab in December 2020 and August 2021.
Thursday night’s launch continues a very busy 2022 for SpaceX. Elon Musk’s company has already conducted 29 orbital missions this year, 17 of which have lofted big batches of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites to low Earth orbit.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).