A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is set to leave the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, August 26, 2016. NASA TV will provide coverage of Dragon’s departure beginning on Friday at 5:45 a.m. EDT (9:45 UTC). Watch here.
SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Service-9 mission arrived at the ISS on July 20, 2016 and delivered almost 5,000 pounds of supplies, experiments and equipment – including a docking adapter for future American commercial crew spacecraft.
A NASA statement described the Dragon spacecraft’s Friday departure:
The Dragon spacecraft will be detached from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module using the station’s Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Robotics controllers will send commands to maneuver the spacecraft into place before it’s released by Expedition 48 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at 6:10 a.m.
The spacecraft will move to a safe distance from the station and fire its engines at 10:56 a.m. to drop out of orbit and descend back to Earth. A parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific is expected at 11:47 a.m. about 326 miles west of Baja California. A recovery team will retrieve the capsule and about 3,000 pounds of cargo and experiments for researchers and investigators.
The deorbit burn and splashdown will not air on NASA TV. In the event of adverse weather conditions in the Pacific, the backup departure and splashdown date is Sunday, August 28, 2016.
Bottom line: On Friday, August 26, 2016, NASA TV will broadcast live coverage of a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship’s departure from the International Space Station (ISS). Coverage begins at 5:45 a.m. EDT (9:45 UTC).
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.