NASA to Highlight Climate Research on Cargo Launch


Image: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:07 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, carrying the Dragon spacecraft on its journey to the International Space Station for SpaceX’s 24th commercial resupply services mission. Credits: NASA/Kevin Davis and Chris Colem.

NASA and SpaceX have announced they are targeting 10:22 a.m. EDT Friday, June 10, to launch the agency’s next investigation to monitor climate change to the International Space Station. Flying aboard SpaceX’s 25th commercial resupply services mission to the orbital laboratory is NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT).

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to deliver new science investigations, supplies, and equipment for the international crew, including a new climate research investigation.

Live coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Thursday, June 9.

Dragon will carry more than 4,500 pounds of cargo, including a variety of NASA investigations like EMIT, which will identify the composition of mineral dust from Earth’s arid regions and analyze dust carried through the atmosphere from deserts to see what effects it has on the planet, further advancing NASA’s data contributions to monitoring climate change.

Other investigations include studying the aging of immune cells and the potential to reverse those effects during postflight recovery, an investigation of how sutured wounds heal in microgravity, and a student experiment testing a concrete alternative for potential use in future lunar and Martian habitats.

Arrival to the station is scheduled for 6:20 a.m. Sunday, June 12. Dragon will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module, with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines monitoring operations from the station.

The spacecraft is expected to spend about a month attached to the orbiting outpost before it returns to Earth with research and return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Thursday, June 9

  • 2 p.m. – Climate Conversation on NASA TV with the following participants:
  •  Kate Calvin, NASA chief scientist and climate advisor
  • Dr. Kirt Costello, chief scientist, International Space Station Program, NASA
  • Natalie Mahowald, EMIT deputy principal investigator and professor of atmospheric science, Cornell University
  •  Paula do Vale Pereira, BeaverCube, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3:30 p.m. – Prelaunch News Conference on NASA TV (no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review) with the following participants:

  •  Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA
  • Dr. Kirt Costello, chief scientist, International Space Station Program, NASA
  • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
  •  Arlena Moses, launch weather officer, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron

Friday, June 10

10 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins

10:22 a.m. – Launch

Sunday, June 12

5 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for Dragon docking to space station

6:20 a.m. – Docking


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