NASA’s SpaceX CRS-29 Mission Overview
SpaceX’s 29th contracted commercial resupply services mission for NASA to the International Space Station will deliver more than 6,500 pounds of scientific research, crew supplies, and hardware to the orbiting laboratory. This is the SpaceX’s ninth under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS) contract, as the first 20 launches were under the original resupply services contract. Launch is targeted for no earlier than 8:28 p.m. EST on Thursday, Nov. 9. Launch activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
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Arrival and Departure
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will arrive at the space station and autonomously dock to the forward port of the Harmony module about 5:20 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. Live coverage of the rendezvous and docking will begin at 3:45 a.m. NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara will monitor the arrival of the spacecraft, which will stay docked to the orbiting laboratory for about one month before splashing down and returning critical science and hardware to teams on Earth.
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Laser Communication from Space
NASA’s ILLUMA-T (Laser Communication from Space) investigation tests technology to provide enhanced data communication capabilities on the space station. A terminal mounted on the station’s exterior uses laser or optical communications to send high-resolution information to the agency’s LCRD (Laser Communications Relay Demonstration) system, which is in geosynchronous orbit around Earth. LCRD then beams the data to optical ground stations in Haleakala, Hawaii, and Table Mountain, California. The system uses invisible infrared light and can send and receive information at higher data rates than traditional radio frequency systems, making it possible to…