The SpaceX Dragon vehicle that transported the SSEP Antares and Aquarius II payloads of student experiments to the International Space Station is scheduled to depart Station at 9:26 am EDT Sunday, October 28. Commander Sunita Williams, who has been operating the SSEP experiments aboard Station, along with Flight Engineer Akihiko Hishide, will be controlling the robotic arm that will release Dragon. Splashdown in the Pacific off the coast of California is expected at about 3:20 pm EDT.
NASA TV live coverage of Dragon’s departure will begin 7 am EDT. You can watch it right here at the NASA TV portal below. The NASA Media Advisory on the departure of Dragon, with details of NASA TV coverage, is also provided in its entirety below.
Note that the SSEP experiments will remain on station for another 3 weeks. Commander Williams, and Flight Engineers Hoshide and Malenchenko are scheduled to depart Station in Soyuz TMA-05M on November 18, 2012, with return to Earth on November 19, carrying the SSEP Antares and Aquarius II payloads. The payloads will then be flown back to Houston for distribution to all 23 student flight experiment teams across America for harvesting and analysis.
MEDIA ADVISORY: M12-207 NASA TV TO AIR LIVE COVERAGE OF DRAGON SPACE STATION DEPARTURE SUNDAY HOUSTON -- NASA Television will provide live coverage of the release and departure of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station on Sunday, Oct. 28. Coverage will begin at 6 a.m. CDT and conclude approximately three hours later after Dragon has left the vicinity of the orbiting laboratory. Space station Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams and Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide will be at the controls of the space station's robotic arm as they back Dragon away from the complex. Dragon is scheduled to be released by the crew at 8:26 a.m. and will conduct its first departure burn one minute later. The Dragon capsule has been attached to the station's Harmony module since Oct. 10. The spacecraft delivered 882 pounds of cargo, including 260 pounds of crew supplies, 390 pounds of scientific research, 225 pounds of hardware and several pounds of other supplies. This included critical materials to support 166 scientific investigations planned for the station's crew, including 63 new investigations. Dragon will return 1,673 pounds of cargo, including 163 pounds of crew supplies, 866 pounds of scientific research, and 518 pounds of vehicle hardware and other hardware. Not since the space shuttle has NASA and its international partners been able to return considerable amounts of research and samples for analysis. There will be no live NASA TV coverage of Dragon's reentry and splashdown, which are scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Mission updates and images of splashdown will be provided when they become available on the SpaceX and NASA websites. To join the conversation on Twitter, follow the hashtags #CRS1 and #Dragon. For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv For SpaceX's Dragon coverage, visit: http://www.spacex.com For information about the International Space Station and Dragon splashdown information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station -end-
SSEP is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in partnership with NanoRacks LLC. This on-orbit research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.
SSEP is the first pre-college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.