Dragon Ready for Return Ahead of Commercial Cr…

ISS – Expedition 56 Mission patch.

August 2, 2018

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is packed with science and hardware ready for return to Earth on Friday. NASA is also introducing a team of astronauts who will soon fly Boeing and SpaceX vehicles to the International Space Station.

Image above: The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured attached to the International Space Station’s Harmony module framed on the left by the Canadarm2 robotic arm and a pair of the station’s main solar arrays. Image Credit: NASA.

The Expedition 56 crew has finished loading Dragon with sensitive research results and station gear for analysis and refurbishment back on Earth. Space station officials from around the world gave the “go” on Thursday for Dragon’s release from the orbital complex.

Image above: NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems to carry crews safely to and from low-Earth orbit – the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner. Image Credit: NASA.

Mission controllers, with astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor monitoring, will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release Dragon at 12:37 p.m. EDT Friday. Splashdown in the Pacific Ocean will occur less than six hours later under a trio of huge parachutes off the coast of Baja California.

Image above: Flying over North Atlantic Ocean, seen by EarthCam on ISS, speed: 27’625 Km/h, altitude: 407,25 Km, image captured by Roland Berga (on Earth in Switzerland) from International Space Station (ISS) using ISS-HD Live application with EarthCam’s from ISS on August 2, 2018 at 18:28 UTC. Image Credits: Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

NASA will introduce Friday at 11 a.m. on NASA TV new astronauts assigned to spaceflights launching from the United States for the first time since July 8, 2011. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is partnering with Boeing and SpaceX to launch humans on U.S.-built spaceships from Kennedy Space Center on test flights to the space station.

Related links:

SpaceX Dragon: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex

Boeing: http://www.boeing.com/space/starliner/

SpaceX: https://www.spacex.com/crew-dragon

Commercial Crew Program: https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/index.html

NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Expedition 56: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition56/index.html

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch
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