The next SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Sunday, March 16, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The company's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo capsule, will lift off at 4:41 a.m. EDT. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 3:45 a.m. If for any reason the launch is postponed, the next launch opportunity is Monday, March 17 at 4:19 a.m., with NASA TV coverage beginning at 3:15 a.m.
The mission, designated SpaceX-3, is the third of 12 SpaceX flights contracted by NASA to resupply the space station. It will be the fourth trip by a Dragon capsule to the orbiting laboratory.
The capsule will be filled with almost 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies. The Dragon will remain attached to the space station's Harmony module for more than three weeks, and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California on April 17 with more than 3,500 pounds of experiment samples and equipment returning from the station.
NASA will host a prelaunch news conference at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, followed by a SpaceX science and technology cargo news conference at 2 p.m. Both briefings will be carried live on NASA TV and the agency's website.
If launch occurs March 16, NASA TV will provide live coverage Tuesday, March 18, of the arrival of the Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station. Grapple and berthing coverage will begin at 5:45 a.m., with grapple at 7 a.m. Berthing coverage begins at 9:30 a.m.
Media may request accreditation to attend the prelaunch news conferences and launch online at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
The deadline for U.S. media to apply for accreditation is March 10. The deadline has passed for international media to apply.
Media credentials will be valid for mission activities from launch through splashdown at Kennedy and at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598.
For an updated schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage items, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1dsh9dp
For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/stationnews
For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog and more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex
For more information about the International Space Station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA's commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration