SpaceX resupply mission to ISS launching November 22
NASA and SpaceX have chosen a time and date for CRS-26, the next resupply mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX made the announcement via its sister company Twitterwhich was recently acquired by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk:
Targeting Tuesday, November 22 at 3:54 pm ET for Falcon 9’s launch of Dragon’s 26th commercial resupply mission to the @space_station ? https://t.co/oXa4P2AWg7
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 18, 2022
The first launch window opens at 3:54 pm ET on Tuesday (20:54 UTC) on November 22, 2022. NASA confirmed the launch time via its Commercial Resupply Services blog.
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Watch liftoff to the ISS live!
A second window is available at 2:20 pm ET Saturday (19:20 UTC November 26). NASA said the CRS-26 Dragon Cargo vehicle will arrive at the ISS at 5:57 am (10:57 UTC) on Wednesday, November 23, if it is able to lift off during the first window. NASA also described the cargo:
Dragon is delivering new space agriculture and biotechnology studies, as well as the next pair of rollout solar arrays to augment the station’s power generation system. NASA TV, on the agency’s app and website, begins its launch coverage at 3:30 pm on Tuesday and docking coverage at 4:30 am on Wednesday.
SpaceX’s launch coverage will start about 25 minutes before launch. Watch it here or via YouTube:
Dwarf tomatoes in space
As usual, the cargo ship will be loaded with scientific experiments, including a scheme to grow fresh vegetables in orbit. NASA previewed the manifest’s contents:
SpaceX’s Dragon will deliver new scientific investigations, supplies, and equipment for the international crew, including the next pair of International Space Station Roll Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs), which will augment existing power supplies to the station. The mission also will carry a study to grow dwarf tomatoes to help create a continuous fresh-food production system in space, as well as an experiment that tests an on-demand method to create specific quantities of key nutrients.
NASA provides a more detailed look at the scientific cargo here.
High-flying high school science project
Also riding to orbit on CRS-26 are a set of four miniature satellites, part of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) 49 mission. The shoebox-size orbital vehicles will carry scientific experiments designed by a high school, a college and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA described the work they’ll do:
The small satellites, called CubeSats, will study a range of topics, from satellite communication methods to space weather to testing technology for robotic assembly of large telescopes.
An in-depth description of the ElaNa experiments is available at NASA. Also, NASA is offering a chance to “attend” the launch online. Participants will receive a travel stamp for their virtual launch passports, also offered via NASA.
Bottom line: The next resupply mission to the ISS launches at 3:54 pm ET (20:54 UTC) on November 22, 2022.