SpaceX's 3rd Space Station Resupply Flight Gets 3-Sided Mission Patch

September 27, 2016 – 11:12 pm
SpaceX conducted a successful Falcon 9 rocket static fire test March 8, 2014, in support of its upcoming Commercial Resupply Services-3 (CRS-3) mission to the International Space Station.
Credit: SpaceX

Preparations are now underway for the launch of Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) third cargo flight to the International Space Station — including the release of the mission's official patch.

During SpaceX's Commercial Resupply Services 3 (CRS-3 or SpX-3) mission, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company's Dragon capsule will carry almost 5, 000 pounds (2, 300 kilograms) of supplies to the space station and return home to Earth with more than 3, 500 pounds (1, 600 kg) of science results and spent equipment.

The third of 12 cargo missions contracted by NASA, the CRS-3 Dragon is scheduled to lift off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 in Florida on Sunday (March 16) at 4:41 a.m. EDT (0841 GMT). The flight will mark the fourth trip by an uncrewed Dragon capsule to the orbital outpost, including SpaceX's first demo flight in 2012. [Graphic: SpaceX’s CRS-3 Mission Patch]

This launch will set its own firsts, too. The Falcon 9 rocket lofting the Dragon into orbit is outfitted with SpaceX's first set of landing legs, although the company intends to only test their deployment on the booster's first stage before attempting an engine-slowed, "soft landing" in the ocean. Eventually, SpaceX hopes to recover and reuse its Falcon rockets' first stage by having it touch down on land.

SpaceX successfully tested the first stage engines during a brief static firing on Saturday (March 8). The nine Merlin 1D engines give the Falcon 9 the '9' in its name.

The three-sided emblem — three sides for the third supply mission — depicts the Dragon, the Falcon's second stage and the International Space Station above the Earth.


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