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How to watch SpaceX Cargo Dragon depart from ISS this week

This week, a SpaceX Cargo Dragon craft will depart from the International Space Station (ISS) carrying supplies and scientific experiments back to Earth. The uncrewed craft is scheduled to begin its journey on Friday, and its departure from the ISS will be livestreamed by NASA. We’ve got all the details on how you can watch along at home below.

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What to expect from the departure

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft is set to depart the International Space Station.
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft is set to depart the International Space Station on Friday, January 21, for a splashdown Saturday, January 22, off the coast of Florida. NASA

The Cargo Dragon arrived at the ISS after launching on December 21 last year. Now it will return, having been loaded up with 4,900 pounds of supplies and equipment before it departs from the space station. This includes experiments like a light imaging microscope which was used to examine matter at a microscopic level, the results of a study into the use of nanoparticles for fabricating new materials, and the results of a study into how the human body responds to the microgravity environment of the ISS.

The Dragon will perform a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida, from where recovery teams will collect the capsule for potential future reuse and take the scientific results to researchers for analysis.

How to watch the departure

The departure of the spacecraft will be livestreamed by NASA on its channel, NASA TV. You can watch this at home by either heading to NASA’s website or by using the video embedded near the top of this page.

Coverage will begin at 10:15 a.m. ET (7:15 a.m. PT) on Friday, January 21. The undocking itself is scheduled for 10:40 a.m. ET (7:40 a.m. PT). Coverage will run of the preparations, the undocking, and the beginning of the journey away from the station.

The spacecraft will then travel away from the station and toward Earth, before making its splashdown at around 4:25 p.m. ET (1:25 p.m. PT) on Saturday, January 22. This splashdown will not be livestreamed, however, if you want to follow along with the craft’s progress you can head to NASA’s space station blog where there will be updates on the status of the craft as it approaches and makes its splashdown.

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