Editor’s note: The NASA TV broadcast above will begin coverage of SpaceX’s Dragon CRS-24, which will be released at 10:15 AM EST (1515 GMT).
You can watch live Saturday (January 22) when a SpaceX Dragon supply ship is set to send thousands of pounds of science back to Earth.
Coverage starts at 10:15 AM EST (1515 GMT) on NASA TV, the agency’s website, social media and here on Space.com. The Dragon cargo ship will release approx. 25 minutes later at 10:40 EST (1540 GMT) and return to Earth on Monday.
Among the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,267 kg) of science on board will be a “cytoskeleton” that uses cell signaling to understand how the human body changes in microgravity, and a 12-year-old slide microscope that withdraws from studying the structure of matter and plants in circulation.
While there will be no direct coverage of the splashdown, the current goal requires the Dragon to arrive somewhere off the coast of Florida around noon. 12:44 PM EST (0544 GMT) Monday (January 24). Updates on splashdown will come through the space station blog.
The capsule was originally targeted Friday to loosen and Saturday to spray down, but the procedure was delayed by one day due to bad weather conditions to return.
The Dragon spacecraft exploded on its cargo mission, called the CRS-24, on December 21 on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, delivering both science and a set of early Christmas presents to the orbiting complex two days later.
Dragon is the only cargo ship that can fly scientific experiments back to scientists on Earth, as all other such spacecraft burn up in the atmosphere during re-entry. Dragon is often used to transport biological samples back, which must be quickly transferred to a scientific facility; spraying into the Atlantic Ocean will allow for rapid transfer of samples to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in coastal Florida, east of Orlando.
Members of the Expedition 66 crew have been packing and organizing Dragon supplies for at least the past two weeks, according to NASA’s space station blog, including the replacement of scientific freezer components that will host the precious refrigerated scientific specimens.