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Cargo Dragon departure from ISS delayed until today due to weather

Update January 23: The departure has been delayed by one more day due to further adverse weather. The target for departure is now 10:40 a.m. ET on Sunday, January 23.

The departure of an uncrewed SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS), which had been planned for this week, had to be delayed until this weekend. But the departure is set to go ahead today, and you can catch coverage of the event on NASA TV.

The departure had been planned for Friday, January 21, but had to be pushed back due to poor weather. As the Cargo Dragon spacecraft will carry supplies and equipment back to Earth, splashing down off the coast of Florida, good weather is needed in the splashdown area to ensure everything goes smoothly. With predictions of poor weather looming, the decision was made to delay the departure by one day.

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov works to configure and activate the Prichal module during a spacewalk on Jan. 19, 2022.
Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov works to configure and activate the Prichal module during a spacewalk on Jan. 19, 2022. NASA TV

“A forecast of inclement weather has caused a postponement of the departure of the SpaceX Cargo Dragon from the Harmony module‘s space-facing port from Friday to Saturday,” NASA wrote in an update. “Undocking is now targeted for Saturday, Jan. 22 at 10:40 a.m. EST. NASA TV coverage, on the NASA app and the agency’s website, will begin Saturday at 10:15 a.m.”

That does mean that you still have time to catch the undocking of the cargo craft on NASA TV if you want to watch it at home. You can watch the livestream by heading to NASA’s website.

The good news is that the weather seems to have cleared today, so indications are good that the departure will be able to go ahead. “Mission controllers have given the go for the Cargo Dragon, packed with science experiments and station hardware, to undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 10:40 a.m. EST on Saturday,” NASA wrote in a further update.

It has been a busy week on the space station, with the crew both preparing for the departure of the Cargo Dragon by loading it with scientific research samples and a spacewalk being performed by Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov to activate a new docking module, with assistance from NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei. The other astronauts on the crew enjoyed a well-earned day of rest on Friday with an off-duty day.

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