Special Coverage

SpaceX ISS resupply launch tonight to be followed by cosmic catch

The Canadarm2 robotic arm grapples the SpaceX Dragon CRS-6 cargo spacecraft before attaching it to the International Space Station. Robotics officers at Mission Control Houston installed the vehicle to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. Emptied of its cargo Dragon is set to return to Earth on May 21. Credit: NASA. (April 4, 2015)

At 11:50 p.m. ET a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) to deliver supplies.

SpaceX CRS-20 mission logo
CRS-20 mission logo. Credit: SpaceX.

For the Canadarm2, it’s another opportunity for what the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) calls a “cosmic catch”, grappling and berthing the cargo resupply spacecraft to the ISS.

In the video below Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen explains how astronauts use Canadarm2 to capture a cargo spacecraft when it arrives at the ISS.

According to the CSA three days after tonights scheduled launch “NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan will use Canadarm2 to capture the unpiloted vehicle. Robotics flight controllers will then berth Dragon to the Station, where it is expected to remain for about a month.”

“Towards the end of March, robotics controllers working jointly from CSA headquarters and NASA’s Johnson Space Center will use Canadian robot Dextre to unload Dragon’s unpressurized trunk. The resupply mission will bring Bartolomeo, a new commercial science platform, to the Station. Dextre is scheduled to install it to the exterior of the ISS’s Columbus module in April 2020.”

You can watch the launch live on SpaceQ.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive Inc. Boucher has 20 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 28 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.