SpaceX commercial cargo launch set for August 28

NASA has confirmed the launch date for its next commercial cargo mission to the ISS. NASA says that SpaceX will send a Cargo Dragon spacecraft into orbit on Saturday, August 28 at 3:37 AM EDT. The launch will be the 23rd commercial resupply services mission to ISS that SpaceX has conducted.

NASA invites the public to watch the launch remotely via NASA television, the NASA app, and the NASA website. Prelaunch events will kick off on Friday, August 27. The cargo mission will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX will send supplies and equipment to the ISS astronauts as well as new scientific experiments. Among the experiments that Dragon will deliver to the ISS is one that will investigate if grape skins and seeds used in winemaking could treat and possibly prevent osteoporosis. In addition, a new robotic arm will be demonstrated aboard the ISS. Another experiment will test an implantable drug delivery system in the new research facility aboard the space station.

Dragon is also taking a series of experiments developed by Girl Scouts that will study plants, ants, and brine shrimp in microgravity. Like all of its Dragon launches, SpaceX plans to land its Factor 9 rocket for reuse on other missions. NASA also confirmed that the Dragon capsule would spend approximately a month attached to the ISS before returning to Earth.

When it does detach from the space station and come back to Earth, it will bring with it completed research and cargo. The capsule will splashdown off the coast of Florida, where it will be picked up, and time-sensitive experiments will be rushed to scientists for testing. Live launch coverage will begin at 3:15 AM Saturday, August 28.