With the delay of SpaceX’s eleventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station to Saturday, June 3, two NASA commercial provider cargo ships now will pass each other in orbit to provide services to the space station.
Loaded with almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware in support of Expedition 52 and 53 crew members, Dragon now is scheduled to launch at 5:07 p.m. EDT on June 3 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Dragon’s new launch date will enable the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft to depart the station Sunday, June 4. Expedition 52 Flight Engineers Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson of NASA will be at the controls of the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release Cygnus at 9:10 a.m. NASA TV coverage of the spacecraft’s departure will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Cygnus will remain in orbit for a week in support of the SAFFIRE experiment and the deployment of four small Nanoracks satellites before Orbital ATK flight controllers command it to deorbit Sunday, June 11. It will burn up harmlessly in the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.
As Cygnus departs, Dragon will close in on the station for its capture by Fischer and Whitson Monday, June 5. Using the Canadarm2 robotic arm, they will grapple the SpaceX cargo spacecraft at 10 a.m. NASA TV coverage will begin at 8:30 a.m.