One Comes Down, Another Goes Up

Dragon ISS

Dragon spacecraft docked at the International Space Station

Two events that space program fans will want to take note of this week — and you can see streaming coverage of both at NASA’s website HERE.

May 2 – SpaceX Corporation’s Dragon spacecraft will depart from the International Space Station for its return to Earth.  This unmanned craft arrived at the ISS early in April with 5,800 pounds of equipment and supplies.  It will bring 4,000 pounds of cargo back, including science experiment samples.  This is the 14th SpaceX mission to the ISS.   Coverage of its departure from the ISS will begin at 8 a.m. Mountain time on Wednesday, May 2.

Update added May 2 – because of unfavorable weather conditions for the splashdown in the Pacific, the Dragon’s return to Earth has been postponed to Saturday, May 5.  Streaming coverage should begin at 7 am Mountain time.

May 5 – Launch of NASA’s InSight Mars lander.   InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is an unmanned mission that will explore the deep interior of Mars.  By measuring the planet’s heat output and listening for “marsquakes,” scientists will be able to map the internal structure of Mars.  The InSight project is also notable as the first interplanetary mission to launch from the west coast of the US, at Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Coverage will begin Saturday, May 5, at 4:30 a.m. Mountain time, with launch slated for 5:05 a.m.

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