SpaceX and NASA Plan Next Cargo Launch to Space Station on March 14

SpaceX will launch its next cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) next week if all goes according to plan.

Elon Musk’s company plans to launch CRS-27 on Tuesday (March 14), which will send the SpaceX Dragon robotic cargo ship to NASA’s orbiting laboratory.

Dragon is scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday at 8:30 pm EDT (0030 GMT March 15) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, agency officials said Thursday (March 9). It will arrive at the ISS around 7:07 am (12:07 GMT) next Thursday (March 16).

However, this plan is not set in stone. This depends on the timely return to Earth of the SpaceX Crew-5 astronaut mission, which is supposed to undock from the ISS early Saturday morning (March 11) and land the same night.

Whenever CRS-27 takes off, you can watch it here on, courtesy of NASA and SpaceX. We will also show footage of the rendezvous and docking of the Dragon spacecraft with the ISS.

Related: SpaceX Dragon Capsule Facts

CRS-27 is so named because it is the 27th uncrewed mission to the International Space Station that SpaceX will fly as part of its commercial resupply contract with NASA.

Dragon will deliver various materials, equipment and scientific experiments to the ISS crew on CRS-27. The scientific equipment includes a student-created project that could make it easier to capture images in space, and a Japanese study called Tanpopo-5, which “studies the origin, transportation, and survival of life in space and on extraterrestrial planets,” NASA officials wrote. in Thursday’s update (will open in a new tab).

“Dragon will also deliver two latest experiments from the National Institutes of Health and the International Space Station Tissue Chips in Space. (will open in a new tab) initiatives,” they added. “Both studies, Cardinal Heart 2.0 (will open in a new tab) and engineered tissues of the heart-2 (will open in a new tab)use small devices containing live cells that mimic the function of human tissues and organs to accelerate the development of treatments for cardiac dysfunction.”

Dragon is one of three robotic cargo ships currently serving the ISS. The other two, the Russian Progress and the Lebed, built by Virginia-based Northrop Grumman, are expendable items that burn up in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of their mission.

However, the Dragon is designed to survive re-entry, carry science experiments and other equipment back to Earth, and fly again. The CRS-27 capsule is expected to spend about a month on the ISS before heading home, NASA officials said in a statement released Thursday.

CRS-27 will take to the skies less than two weeks after the last launch of SpaceX astronauts to the ISS, the Crew-6 mission, which launched on March 2. SpaceX is flying these astronaut missions under another NASA contract using Crew Dragon capsules. a variant other than a vehicle that makes robotic resupply flights.

Mike Wall is the author of Out There (will open in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrations by Carl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or on facebook (will open in a new tab).

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