SpaceX Dragon Set for ‘Return to Flight’ Launch to ISS Apr. 8 – Watch Live

A Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon spacecraft stand at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station before the CRS-8 mission to deliver experiments and supplies to the International Space Station.  Credits: SpaceX

The SpaceX Dragon is set for its ‘Return to Flight’ mission on Friday, April 8, packed with nearly 7000 pounds (3100 kg) of critical cargo and research experiments bound for the six-man crew working aboard the International Space Station.Blastoff of the commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Dragon CRS-8 resupply ship is slated for 4:43 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.The weather outlook looks great with a forecast of 90 percent “GO” and extremely favorable conditions at launch time. The only concern is for winds.The SpaceX/Dragon CRS-8 launch coverage will be broadcast on NASA TV beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT with additional commentary on the NASA launch blogYou can watch the launch live at – launch window is instantaneous, meaning that any delays due to weather or technical issues will results in a minimum 1 day postponement.A backup launch opportunity exists on Saturday, April 9, at 4:20 p.m. with NASA TV coverage starting at 3:15 p.m.Friday’s launch marks the first for a Dragon since the catastrophic failure of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in flight last year on June 28, 2015 on the CRS-7 resupply mission. CRS-8 counts as the company’s eighth flight to deliver supplies, science experiments and technology demonstrations to the ISS for the crews of Expeditions 47 and 48 to support dozens of the approximately 250 science and research investigations in progress.Also packed aboard in the Dragon’s unpressurized trunk section is experimental Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) – an experimental expandable capsule that the crew will attach to the space station. The 3115 pound (1413 kg) BEAM will test the use of an expandable space habitat in microgravity.Expedition 47 crew members Jeff Williams and Tim Kopra of NASA, Tim Peake of ESA (European —> Read More