***Author’s Note: Launch has been postponed; next launch opportunity will be February 19 at 9:38 AM EST. NASA TV will provide live coverage.***
SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 39A for the first time on Saturday, February 18. This is SpaceX’s tenth contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch window opens at 10:01 AM and NASA TV will begin live coverage of the event at 8:30 AM EST.
The Falcon 9 will be launching a Dragon spacecraft filled with scientific experiments, crew supplies and hardware for the International Space Station. It will take two days to rendezvous with the space station, where Expedition 50 crew members Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet will capture it with the robotic arm and dock it on the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. NASA TV will cover the capture and docking beginning at 7:30 AM, with capture and docking of the Dragon capsule set to begin at 11:30 AM EST.
Once the Dragon capsule is installed, the ISS crew is expected to spend the next month unloading the 5,489.5 pounds of delivered cargo and filling the capsule with items destined to be returned to Earth. Then the Dragon capsule will return to Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean just off Baja California on March 21.
Members of NASA Social are invited to participate in a “What’s on Board” science briefing beginning at 8:30 AM on Friday, February 17. Interested views can also catch the briefint on NASA TV. If you are lucky enough to be on the Space Coast in Florida on this date, you can watch the launch from nearby Cocoa Beach for free or buy tickets at Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex. If not, be sure to catch the CRS-10 launch on NASA TV on Saturday. If the launch has to be scrubbed on February 18th, the next launch opportunity will be February 19th at 9:38 AM.