NASA Sets Coverage, Invites Public to Virtually Join Next Cargo Launch

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  August 20, 2021 
NASA Sets Coverage, Invites Public to Virtually Join Next Cargo Launch
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo capsule soars upward after lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3, 2021.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo capsule soars upward after lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3, 2021, during the company's 22nd Commercial Resupply Services mission for NASA to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA

NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting Saturday, Aug. 28, at 3:37 a.m. EDT to launch its 23rd commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff will be from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver new science investigations, supplies, and equipment for the international crew.

Live coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Friday, Aug. 27.

Dragon will deliver a variety of NASA investigations, including one that will determine if metabolites from grape skins and seeds used in wine making could help prevent and treat osteoporosis. A new robotic arm scheduled for demonstration could reveal potential uses on Earth, including in disaster relief. Another experiment will test an implantable, remote-controlled drug delivery system that will utilize a new research facility aboard the orbiting laboratory. Several Girl Scouts’ experiments also will use this new facility to study plants, ants, and brine shrimp in microgravity.

About 12 minutes after launch, Dragon will separate from the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. Arrival to the station is planned for Sunday, Aug. 29. Dragon will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module, with Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA monitoring operations.

The spacecraft is expected to spend about a month attached to the orbiting outpost before it returns to Earth with research and return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Friday, Aug. 27

9:30 to 11 a.m. – Previously credentialed media will have an opportunity to speak one-on-one with scientists in their labs and other subject matter experts at Kennedy’s Space Station Processing Facility. All participants must comply with COVID-19 safety protocols.

12 p.m. – NASA TV will broadcast a prelaunch news conference from Kennedy with representatives from NASA’s International Space Station Program, SpaceX, and the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the news conference will be dial-in only. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom at: no later than 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27. The public can also ask questions, which may be answered in real-time during the segment, by using #AskNASA on Twitter.

Immediately following the news conference, NASA TV will air a “What’s on Board” video that will introduce the public and media to some of the investigators flying science on this mission.

Saturday, Aug. 28

3:15 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins for the 3:37 a.m. launch.

Sunday, Aug. 29

9:30 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for Dragon docking to space station.

11 a.m. – Docking.

The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed, but general information about media accreditation is available by emailing:

NASA TV launch coverage

Live coverage of the launch on NASA TV will begin at 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit:

Audio of the news conference 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" countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary will be carried on 321-867-7135.

On launch day, a “clean feed” of the launch without NASA TV commentary will be carried on the NASA TV media channel.

NASA website launch coverage

Launch day coverage of the mission will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning no earlier than 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 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 Kennedy newsroom: at 321-867-2468. Follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at:

Attend the launch virtually

Members of the public can register to attend this launch virtually. Registrants will receive mission updates and activities by email. NASA’s virtual guest program for this mission also includes curated launch resources, notifications about related opportunities, and a virtual guest passport stamp following a successful launch.

Watch and engage on social media

Let people know you're following the mission on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtags #Dragon and #NASASocial. You can also stay connected by following and tagging these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA@NASAKennedy@NASASocial@Space_Station, @ISS_Research, @ISS National Lab, @SpaceX

Facebook: NASANASAKennedyISSISS National Lab

Instagram: @NASA@NASAKennedy@ISS, @ISSNationalLab@SpaceX

Learn more about the SpaceX resupply mission at:

Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo 321-501-8425.



Press Contacts

Monica Witt
Headquarters, Washington

Megan Cruz
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Leah Cheshier
Johnson Space Center, Houston


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