NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting 5:42 a.m. EDT Friday, June 29, for the launch of its 15th resupply mission to the International Space Station.
Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Thursday, June 28, with prelaunch events.
Packed with more than 5,900 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. About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon reaches its preliminary orbit, at which point it will deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the International Space Station.
In addition to bringing research to station, the Dragon’s unpressurized trunk is carrying a new Canadian-built Latching End Effector, or LEE. This new LEE is being launched as a spare to replace the failed unit astronauts removed during a series of spacewalks in the fall of 2017. Each end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm has an identical LEE, and they are used as the “hands” that grapple payloads and visiting cargo spaceships. They also enable Canadarm2 to “walk” to different locations on the orbiting outpost, including Canada’s Mobile Base, which travels along rails on the space station’s main truss.
In collaboration with the National Park Service, a toy dog representing the Newfoundland that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition in the 1800s also is headed to the space station to help the two agencies celebrate NASA’s 60th anniversary and the National Trail System’s 50th anniversary.
It will take three days to reach the space station, where it will arrive Monday, July 2. NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, backed up by fellow NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, will supervise the operation of the Canadarm2 robotic arm for Dragon’s capture while NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor monitors the spacecraft’s systems. After Dragon capture, ground commands will be sent from mission control in Houston for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Harmony module.
The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed, but more information about media accreditation is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full mission coverage is as follows:
Thursday, June 28
Press Site Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Badging Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Foreign National Pickup Times: 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
News Media Schedule
- 10:20 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – CIMON demo in the news auditorium
- 11 a.m. – What’s on Board science briefing from Kennedy to highlight the following research:
- Christian Karrasch, project lead at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Philipp Schulien, project engineer at Airbus, will discuss the Crew Interactive Mobile companion (CIMON) study into crew efficiency and acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI) support for future use on long-duration missions.
- Principal investigators Richard Grugel at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Oliver Steinbock at Florida State University, will discuss Chemical Gardens studying the physics of nanotube growth.
- Simon Hook, principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Woody Turner, program scientist in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters, will discuss the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) investigation. This study will answer several key science questions related to water stress in plants and how selected regions may respond to future changes in climate.
- Paolo Luzzatto-Fergiz, principal investigator at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Richard Dickinson, director of the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems at the National Science Foundation, will discuss Quantifying Cohesive Sediment Dynamics for Advanced Environmental Modeling (BCAT-CS), which focuses on the study of forces between particles that cluster together by studying sediments of quartz and clay particles.
- Ken Podwalski, director of Space Exploration Operations and Infrastructure for the Canadian Space Agency, will discuss the spare Canadarm2 Latching End Effector (LEE) being launched.
- 12:45 – 1:15 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program, SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing.
- 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Tour Flame Trench
- 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. – One-on-one Interview Opportunities (Sign up at the Press Site)
- Simon Hook, principal investigator, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Josh Fisher, science lead, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Kerry Cawse-Nicholson, deputy science lead, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Christian Karrasch, project lead, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
- Philipp Schulien, project engineer, Airbus
- National Park Service
- Ashley Danielson, volunteer and partnership specialist, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
- Alexandra Picavet, chief of Communications and Legislative Affairs, Midwest Region
- 5:15 p.m. – K-9 inspection
- 5:30 p.m. – Leave for pad
- 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. – Remote Camera Set-up/Pad Photo Op
Media who would like to call in for the prelaunch news conference or What’s on Board briefing should phone the NASA News Center at 321-867-2468.
Friday, June 29
Press Site Hours of Operation: 3 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Badging Hours of Operation: 2:30 – 5:00 a.m.
Foreign National Pickup Time: 4 a.m.
News Media Schedule
- 4 a.m. – Sat trucks depart for Causeway
- 4:15 a.m. – Media depart for Causeway
- 4:30 a.m. – Media depart for VAB roof
- 8 a.m. – Postlaunch news conference at Kennedy with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program and SpaceX
- 8:45 a.m. – Remote camera pickup
Media may view the CRS-15 launch from the Kennedy Press Site, NASA Causeway or the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) roof (space is limited). Media who wish to view the launch from the NASA Causeway or the VAB roof should meet at the Kennedy Press Site at 3:45 a.m. to be escorted. Media must RSVP with their preference for the NASA Causeway or the VAB roof by noon on Wednesday, June 27 to email@example.com. Only one representative per organization may sign up for the VAB roof.
NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 5:15 a.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit https://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, “mission audio,” the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.
NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the SpaceX CRS-15 flight will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 5:15 a.m. as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact the newsroom at 321-867-2468. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacex.
Postlaunch News Conference on NASA TV
A postlaunch news conference will occur at about 8 a.m. in Kennedy’s Press Site TV Auditorium and air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at https://www.nasa.gov/ntv. Media who would like to call in should phone the NASA News Center at 321-867-2468.
Learn more about the SpaceX CRS-15 mission by going to the mission home page at: