SpaceX and NASA are set to launch the CRS-27, the latest cargo mission destined for the International Space Station. Space watchers will be able to tune into the official launch later this evening, March 14, thanks to a NASA-powered broadcast. You can watch CRS-27 launch from a window that opens at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
The newest cargo mission will lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A launch readiness review (LRR) on Monday showed that the vehicle is healthy and that all of CRS-27’s systems are ready for the launch, SpaceX Dragon mission management director Sarah Walker shared at Monday’s conference. You can watch the CRs-27 launch on NASA’s YouTube channel.
Launches like this are exceptionally important as they provide NASA with a way to deliver important supplies to the International Space Station, which currently orbits our planet at an average of 227 nautical miles (420 kilometers) above Earth. SpaceX and NASA say the only thing that could delay the CRS-27 launch at this point is the weather.
Mother nature has always been one of the biggest ongoing hurdles of spaceflight, and it’s no different for this particular flight. In the past, we’ve seen weather delay flights, sometimes even almost costing the flight its chance to lift off completely. So long as the weather doesn’t turn against it, you should be able to watch the CRS-27 launch later this evening.
After launching on Tuesday evening, the CRS-27 Dragon cargo ship is expected to make its way up to the International Space Station, where it will rendezvous and dock with the ISS early in the morning on Thursday, March 16. NASA and SpaceX say that the models for the weather on Tuesday are trending in the launch’s favor, so fingers crossed that everything works out and we get to watch the CRS-27 launch without issue.
Launches haven’t been exceptionally kind in recent weeks, with Japan having to destroy its H3 rocket in mid-flight after issues and the recent delay of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket launch. CRS-27 could be a much-needed refresher, and an essential step toward keeping the ISS restocked with supplies.