After a series of delays due to unfavorable weather conditions, NASA and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than 5:05 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 20, for the undocking of the company’s 29th Dragon commercial resupply services mission from the International Space Station (ISS).
Joint teams continue to evaluate weather conditions as a cold front passes through the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida to determine the best autonomous undocking opportunity.
Coverage of Dragon’s departure Wednesday will begin at 4:45 p.m. on the NASA+ streaming service via the web or the NASA app. Coverage also will air live on NASA Television, YouTube, and on the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.
After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will splash down off the coast of Florida, which will not be broadcast on NASA TV.
SpaceX Dragon Cargo Spacecraft
The SpaceX Dragon Cargo Spacecraft, developed by SpaceX, represents a significant advancement in commercial spaceflight. This spacecraft is designed to transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and return cargo to Earth. There are two versions of the Dragon spacecraft: Cargo Dragon and Crew Dragon (Dragon 2). The Cargo Dragon, specifically, is an unmanned variant that plays a crucial role in resupply missions.
The Dragon spacecraft is notable for its ability to carry significant payloads, and it features a pressurized capsule for sensitive scientific experiments and an unpressurized “trunk” for additional cargo. It is one of the few spacecraft capable of returning a considerable amount of cargo to Earth, which is essential for ISS research and experiments. The Dragon’s versatility and reusability have made it a key player in maintaining the continuous flow of supplies and scientific work aboard the ISS.
International Space Station (ISS)
The International Space Station (ISS) is a marvel of modern space technology and international cooperation. It serves as a space environment research laboratory where scientific research is conducted in astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, and other fields. The ISS is a joint project involving NASA, Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
Orbiting Earth approximately every 90 minutes, the ISS functions as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. The space station is also suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. The ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2000, and it represents a pinnacle of human achievement in terms of both international collaboration and sustained human presence in space.