Following a successful launch atop a Falcon 9 from Florida, SpaceX’s CRS-17 Dragon is expected to rendezvous with the International Space Station. Following a capture and berthing, the vehicle’s hatch will be opened and the cargo unloaded by the outpost’s crew. It will be attached to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.
In addition to pressurized cargo, such as crew supplies and internal experiments, the vehicle is expected to carry several external hardware items. These include the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 experiment and the Space Test Program - Houston 6 package.
OCO-3 is an experiment designed to measure the amount and distribution of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Operated by NASA, it is a follow-on to the OCO-2 mission using the spare OCO-2 flight unit. Once at the ISS, it is expected to be installed on the Kibo module’s Exposed Facility for nominal duration of three years.
STP-H6 is expected to carry eight experiments for the U.S. Department of Defense. Once at the ISS, it will be installed on an External Logistics Carrier on the outpost’s truss.