Replace: The launch was successful, with the booster performing the 50th touchdown within the firm’s historical past. The Dragon capsule ought to be collected by the ISS on Monday.
SpaceX is launching its 20th resupply mission the Worldwide Area Station tonight, however this one has a bittersweet twist: It’s the final such mission that can use the primary iteration of the Dragon spacecraft that has flown on the entire firm’s missions for NASA up to now. Beginning this summer season, its successor will take its place.
Tonight’s mission will carry a wide range of provides, experiments, and new elements to the ISS as ordinary. Launch is scheduled for 8:50 PM Pacific time, and you may watch it under.
The Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 first stage each flew on earlier missions, the Dragon on two others, making it the third of its variety to make it to a 3rd mission. And it’ll even be the final of its variety to take action.
Dragon has spawned two successor craft, Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon (typically with a “2” appended), the previous of which has understandably gotten the lion’s share of consideration. However the revised cargo spacecraft very effectively see extra use.
The precise variations between the outdated and new Dragon aren’t fully clear, however we all know that there have been important enhancements to the avionics, energy methods, onboard software program, and naturally the overall form of the factor. Naturally there received’t be life help or an escape system on the craft, which isn’t supposed on this type to hold passengers.
This new, improved Cargo Dragon has its first industrial mission scheduled for August, and its sister craft, Crew Dragon, might very effectively by flying by then as effectively if every thing goes in keeping with plan.