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Schedule for Dragon cargo resupply mission

(13 December 2017 - NASA) NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX now is targeting no earlier than 10:36 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 15, for its 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.

Packed with almost 4,800 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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The Canadarm2 robotic arm prepares to release the SpaceX Dragon Commercial Resupply Services-6 cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX are now targeting no earlier than Dec. 15 for the company’s 13th cargo mission to the space station, using the refurbished Dragon capsule from the CRS-6 mission. (courtesy: NASA)

About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit and deploy its solar arrays. A carefully choreographed series of thruster firings will bring the spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station Sunday, Dec. 17. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will capture Dragon using the space station’s robotic arm. Ground controllers then will send commands to robotically install the spacecraft on the station’s Harmony module.

The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth in mid-January with results of previous experiments.

Also on Sunday, Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 2:21 a.m. (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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