Dragon set to launch to the ISS tomorrow afternoon
SpaceX is targeting the launch of their Dragon spacecraft tomorrow, Monday April 2nd, at 4:30pm EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. Dragon will launch on top of their Falcon 9 rocket which is using a "flight-proven" first stage which previously supported the CRS-12 mission last August. No recovery will be attempted on this first stage, but it will be used to practice high velocity 3 engine landing burns with minimal fuel left over to do so. This will provide engineers more data on refining the landings of the first stage. The Dragon spacecraft has also been flown before on the CRS-8 mission back in April of 2016. A backup launch attempt will be made on Tuesday, April 3rd, at 4:08pm EDT.
The Dragon spacecraft is filled with approximately 5,800lbs of supplies, science payloads, and vehicle hardware that will be delivered to the ISS on Wednesday. On Wednesday the stations robotic arm will reach out and grab Dragon and berth it to one of the docking ports. This is the fourteenth of the up to twenty missions that SpaceX will launch to the ISS under NASA's CRS (Commerical Resupply Services) contract that goes through 2024.