HOUSTON (NASA & SpaceX PR) — NASA Television will provide live coverage of the release and departure of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station on Sunday, Oct. 28. Coverage will begin at 6 a.m. CDT and conclude approximately three hours later after Dragon has left the vicinity of the orbiting laboratory.
Space station Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams and Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide will be at the controls of the space station’s robotic arm as they back Dragon away from the complex. Dragon is scheduled to be released by the crew at 8:26 a.m. CDT.
Dragon then begins a series of thruster firings to carry it away from the space station, closes its GNC door, and begins its deorbit burn. Ready to reenter the atmosphere, Dragon jettisons its trunk and solar arrays, positions itself so that its PICA-X heat shield faces the Earth, and proceeds into the Earth’s atmosphere.
When Dragon reaches 13,700 meters (45,000 feet) above sea level, it will deploy two drogue parachutes to slow its descent. At 3,000 meters (10,000 feet), it will deploy its three main parachutes and drift slowly toward the splashdown site. Splashdown is expected to take place at approximately 12:20 p.m. PT.
After Dragon is secured, the SpaceX team will then place the vehicle on the deck of a 100-foot boat for the journey back to shore. Early-arrival cargo will be delivered to NASA within 48 hours of splashdown. Dragon will then travel from Southern California to SpaceX’s facility in McGregor, Texas, where the remaining cargo will be unloaded, processed, and delivered to NASA.
The Dragon capsule has been attached to the station’s Harmony module since Oct. 10. The spacecraft delivered 882 pounds of cargo, including 260 pounds of crew supplies, 390 pounds of scientific research, 225 pounds of hardware and several pounds of other supplies. This included critical materials to support 166 scientific investigations planned for the station’s crew, including 63 new investigations.
Dragon will return 1,673 pounds of cargo, including 163 pounds of crew supplies, 866 pounds of scientific research, and 518 pounds of vehicle hardware and other hardware. Not since the space shuttle has NASA and its international partners been able to return considerable amounts of research and samples for analysis.
There will be no live NASA TV coverage of Dragon’s reentry and splashdown, which are scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Mission updates and images of splashdown will be provided when they become available on the SpaceX and NASA websites. To join the conversation on Twitter, follow the hashtags #CRS1 and #Dragon.
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:
For real-time updates throughout Dragon’s reentry and splashdown, follow @SpaceX on Twitter and visit www.spacex.com/webcast.