The first-ever yearlong mission to the International Space Station (ISS) wraps up on Tuesday, March 1, the same day that SpaceX aims to launch a communications satellite and land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a ship at sea, Space.com reports.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are scheduled to return to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft Tuesday night after a record-setting 340 days aboard the ISS.
You can watch the Soyuz’s hatch closure at 4:40 p.m. EST (2115 GMT); the vehicle’s departure from the orbiting lab at 8:02 p.m. EST (0102 GMT on March 2); and its landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 11:25 p.m. EST (0425 GMT on March 2), all courtesy of NASA TV.
SpaceX has pushed the SES-9 launch back three separate times.
Attempts on February 24 and 25 were scrubbed because of issues involving the loading of liquid-oxygen propellant onto the Falcon 9, and a try on Sunday (February 28) was aborted just before liftoff, apparently because of rising oxygen temperatures (which was partly attributable to a delay caused by a boat in the launch’s “keep-out zone,” according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk).
“This mission is going to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit. Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt an experimental landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship. Given this mission’s unique GTO profile, a successful landing is not expected,” – SpaceX said in a statement.
You can watch it live here: http://www.spacex.com/webcast