Early morning spectacular tomorrow as the Falcon 9 will ascend into the skies just before sunrise
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is ready on the pad for an early morning launch of 5:42am EDT. While the skies were gloomy and rainy during remote camera setup, weather is still 90% go for launch for on on-time liftoff tomorrow morning. This is the fifteenth resupply mission for SpaceX and Dragon under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. The Falcon 9 will be launching from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) with a first stage that was previously used for the TESS mission in April, and a Dragon spacecraft that was previously used for the CRS-9 mission in July 2016. The first stage of this Falcon 9 will not be attempted to recovered, as it is the last Block 4 booster. All launches from now will be the new Block 5 version of the Falcon 9.
The Dragon spacecraft is filled with more than 5,900 pounds of supplies and payloads that will be brought up to the International Space Station. It also includes critical materials to help support the more than 250 science and research experiments that will be conducted on board the station. Dragon will be captured and berthed to the ISS on Monday, July 2nd by using the station's 58 foot long robotic arm.
After approximately one month on the station, the Dragon spacecraft will be released from the ISS carrying more than 4,000 pounds of cargo. 30 minutes after perfoming its de-orbit burn, Dragon will reenter Earth's atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Baja California.