SpaceX is targeting next week for the Space Coast’s next rocket launch, a mission slated to deliver thousands of pounds of cargo and science experiments to the International Space Station, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
Teams at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 are looking at no earlier than 11:50 p.m. Friday for Falcon 9's liftoff with a Dragon capsule. The launch window is instantaneous, meaning it has to launch at 11:50 p.m. or delay to another day.
The next @SpaceX resupply mission to @Space_Station is now scheduled for Fri., March 6 at 11:50pm ET. The #Dragon spacecraft will deliver over 5,600 pounds of cargo and supplies. More: https://t.co/JdjYueNFbO— NASA (@NASA) February 26, 2020
About the @ISS_Research on board: https://t.co/db981glRJY pic.twitter.com/FL9SP1Fywn
This will mark the final flight of Dragon 1, which has been flying to the ISS since 2012. Moving forward, SpaceX will start flying to the space station with Dragon 2, a platform being used for cargo-only trips as well as crewed missions with astronauts.
The new spacecraft look similar, but Cargo Dragon 2 lacks windows that astronauts would need. Crew Dragon, meanwhile, is slated to launch American astronauts from Kennedy Space Center sometime in the second quarter of this year.
About eight minutes after liftoff, the rocket's 162-foot-tall first stage is expected to land on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It will return to Port Canaveral soon thereafter for processing and refurbishment.
An Air Force-issued weather forecast for Friday's launch is expected Tuesday.
The mission, SpaceX’s 20th under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, paves the way for a quick turnaround at the Eastern Range. A few miles north at KSC’s pad 39A, the company will again launch on March 11 with 60 Starlink internet communications satellites. Liftoff time for that mission is slated for no earlier than 10:40 a.m.