There are two resupply launches to the ISS in the next couple days, and both will be streamed live on NASA TV.
Standing down to take a closer look at positioning of the second stage engine nozzle. 9:38am ET tomorrow is next earliest launch opportunity
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 18, 2017
18 19 SpaceX Dragon Launch
First up is the SpaceX launch scheduled for Saturday Feb 18th at 10:01AM EST (7:01AM PST). Rescheduled for Sunday Feb 19th at 9:38 AM EST. If you remember how excited you were as a kid to get up and watch Saturday morning cartoons, a Saturday morning rocket launch is even better. Grab a cup of coffee, and tune in to see a launch and landing of the first stage rocket!
Worth noting that this launch will be from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That’s the pad previously used by the Space Shuttle.
About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit, deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station.
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station’s robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the space station after its two-day journey. The spacecraft will be berthed to the Earth-facing port on the Harmony module. The following day, the space station crew will pressurize the vestibule between the station and Dragon, then open the hatch that leads to the forward bulkhead of Dragon.
Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 7:30 AM EST Monday, Feb. 20, on NASA TV, with installation set to begin at 11:30 AM EST. Update: Date and time of rendezvous TBD pending revised launch.
If the launch does not occur Saturday, Feb. 18, the next launch opportunity is 9:38 AM EST Sunday, Feb. 19, with NASA TV coverage starting at 8 AM.
For about a month, crew members will unload the spacecraft and reload it with cargo to return to Earth. About five-and-a-half hours after it departs the station on March 21, it will splash down in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California.
Science investigations launching on Dragon include commercial and academic research investigations that will enable researchers to advance their knowledge of the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges astronauts face during long-duration spaceflight.
One experiment will use the microgravity environment to grow stem cells that are of sufficient quality and quantity to use in the treatment of patients who have suffered a stroke. A Merck Research Labs investigation will test growth in microgravity of antibodies important for fighting a wide range of human diseases, including cancer.
Feb 22 Russian Progress Launch
Next up is a Russian Progress launch on Wednesday Feb 22. This one is going to be after midnight for those on the east coast, so you may want to just plan to catch a replay later. If it works for your schedule though, mark your calendar!
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the International Space Station beginning at 12:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Launch of the unpiloted Russian Progress 66 is scheduled for 12:58 AM EST Wednesday (11:58 a.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The spacecraft is set to dock to the Pirs docking compartment at 3:34 AM EST Friday, Feb. 24. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 2:45 AM EST Progress 66 will remain docked at the station for almost four months before departing in June for its deorbit into Earth’s atmosphere.
This is the first launch of a Progress cargo ship from Baikonur since the Progress 65 supply craft was lost Dec. 1, 2016.