NASA has announced it will air the live departure of a SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft filled with almost 3,600 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo from the Space Station Sunday, Jan. 5, the agency said.
Robotic flight controllers at mission control in Houston will issue remote commands at to release Dragon using the station´s Canadarm2 robotic arm. Expedition 61 Station Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will back up the ground controllers and monitor Dragon´s systems as it departs the orbital laboratory.
Dragon will fire its thrusters to move a safe distance from the station, then execute a de-orbit burn as it heads for a parachute-assisted splashdown around 3:04 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6, in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Long Beach, California. The splashdown will not air on NASA TV.
Dragon launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Dec. 5 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and arrived at the space station two days later.
For almost 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. As a global endeavor, more than 230 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,500 research investigations from researchers in 106 countries.