SpaceX will launch its CRS-2 cargo supply mission to the International Space Station on Friday March 1. This is the company's second such mission.
Liftoff is scheduled to take place at 10:10 AM EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The vehicle will include a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule. Live streaming of the event will be available on SpaceX's webcast at www.spacex.com/webcast.
The spacecraft will carry about 1,268 pounds of supplies to the space station for crew members and to be used for experiments that will be conducted in the orbiting laboratory.
The vehicle and rocket reach a total height of 157 feet. The rocket operates in two stages, using nine engines during the first stage to leave Earth's atmosphere. The second stage relies on one engine as the vehicle finishes its journey into space.
ISS astronauts will assist with the vehicle's attachment to the Space Station using a robot arm when it arrives on March 2. It will stay there for several weeks while cargo is removed. The Dragon capsule will return to Earth on March 25 by landing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.
Weather is about 80 percent favorable for the launch of the rocket, so the event should go without interruption. On Thursday Feb. 28 NASA hosts two SpaceX 2 media briefings from the Kennedy Space Center regarding the launch. A mission science briefing starts at 1 p.m. and a prelaunch news conference starts at 3 p.m. They are viewable on NASA TV or www.nasa.gov/ntv.
As part of the Commercial Resupply Services contract, SpaceX will fly at least ten more missions to the space station. This launch marks the third trip the Dragon capsule has taken to the station. The first was a demonstration flight in May 2012. A resupply mission took place in October 2012.