NASA announced on Sept. 28 that the first SpaceX (Hawthorne, Calif., USA) launch for NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7, from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity for the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule at 8:35 p.m. EDT. Backup launch opportunities are available on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9, if needed.
The launch of the Dragon spacecraft, designated SpaceX CRS-1, will be the first of 12 contracted flights by the company to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) and is the second trip by a Dragon to the station, following a successful demonstration mission in May. Under the CRS contract, SpaceX will restore an American capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including science experiments, to the orbiting laboratory — a capability not available since the retirement of the space shuttle.
The Dragon will be filled with about 1,000 lb/454 kg of supplies. This includes critical materials to support the 166 investigations planned for the station's Expedition 33 crew, including 63 new investigations. The Dragon will return about 734 lb/333 kg of scientific materials, including results from human research, biotechnology, materials and educational experiments, as well as about 504 lb/228 kg of space station hardware.