Skip to main content

How to watch SpaceX launch its upgraded Cargo Dragon on resupply mission today

CRS-21 Mission

Update December 6: The mission has been pushed back due to poor weather. The Cargo Dragon will now launch today, Sunday, December 6, at 08:17 a.m. ET. Docking with the ISS is scheduled for Monday, December 7.

SpaceX will launch its newly upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft on its 21st resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) today, meaning the ISS will soon have double dragons docked: Both the uncrewed Cargo Dragon supply craft and the Crew Dragon capsule which recently carried astronauts to the station on its first operational mission.

We’ve got all the details on how you can watch the launch live as it happens.

What to expect from the Cargo Dragon launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft atop, stands ready for liftoff
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft atop, stands ready for liftoff NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida after being raised to a vertical position on Dec. 2, 2020, ahead of the company’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) launch. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 is scheduled for 11:39 a.m. on Saturday, December 5. SpaceX

This new version of the SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft can carry 20% more cargo volume than previous versions and also has twice as much storage space for powered lockers, so it will be stuffed full of scientific experiments as well as supplies for the crew on board the ISS. It can also stay at the ISS for longer than previous versions as well, which makes coordinating resupply missions more convenient.

The Cargo Dragon will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 11:39 a.m. ET (8:39 a.m. PT) on Saturday, December 5, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. If there are any delays due to weather, there is a second launch opportunity tomorrow, around the same time on Sunday, December 6.

Assuming the weather continues to cooperate and the launch goes ahead as planned today, the spacecraft will travel to the ISS over the weekend and is scheduled to dock with the station on Sunday, December 6.

After the launch, the first stage booster used by the Falcon 9 rocket will return to Earth where it should be caught by the SpaceX droneship “Of Course I Still Love You,” which will be standing by in the Atlantic Ocean.

How to watch the Cargo Dragon launch

The launch will be streamed both by SpaceX and on NASA TV, so you can watch either on SpaceX’s website, on NASA’s website, or using the video embedded at the top of this page. Coverage of the launch will begin at around 11:15 a.m. ET (8:15 a.m. PT).

If you want to keep an eye on the Cargo Dragon all weekend, you can tune into NASA TV where coverage of the craft approaching the ISS will be shown from 9:30 a.m. ET (6:30 a.m. PT) on Sunday, December 6. Docking with the ISS is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. PT).

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
How to watch three crew members launch to the ISS on Thursday
NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, and spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya of Belarus pose for a portrait at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on Nov. 2, 2023.

This Thursday will see the launch of one NASA astronaut and two other crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), traveling on a Russian Soyuz vehicle. The crew includes a Russian cosmonaut and the first Belarusian in space.

NASA Astronaut Tracy Dyson Launch to the Space Station

Read more
SpaceX shares awesome rocket imagery from Starship flight
A view of Earth captured from SpaceX's Starship spacecraft.

SpaceX’s third Starship test flight last Thursday was its best yet, far exceeding the first two missions, which took place last year and ended in huge fireballs just a few minutes in.

This time, the Starship -- comprising the first-stage Super Heavy booster and upper-stage Starship spacecraft -- kept on flying, with both parts reaching their destination points before breaking up on descent.

Read more
Watch SpaceX’s Starship burn brightly as it hurtles toward Earth
SpaceX's Starship reentering Earth's atmosphere.

SpaceX surprised a lot of people on Thursday morning when its mighty Starship rocket managed not to blow up seconds after liftoff.

The Starship -- comprising the first-stage Super Heavy booster and upper-stage Starship spacecraft -- enjoyed its most successful test flight yet following two short-lived missions in April and November last year.

Read more