How to Watch SpaceX's First Rocket Launch in Two Months As Falcon 9 Resupplies ISS

SpaceX is due to launch its first rocket in months this weekend as part of a scheduled International Space Station resupply mission.

In a tweet on Thursday morning the rocket company said it was targeting a launch at 3:37 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

As is usually the case for SpaceX's ISS resupply missions, the rocket used will be the company's Falcon 9 model that is capable of landing itself vertically once it has delivered the upper stage to orbit.

A live webcast of the launch will be held around 15 minutes prior to liftoff. These are usually available to watch on the company's Twitter page as well as on its website.

NASA is also hosting coverage of the launch via its NASA TV livestream channel. The space agency's stream is set to begin at 3:15 a.m. on Saturday.

This launch is weather dependent and, according to SpaceFlightNow, as of Wednesday there was a 40 percent probability the weather might be unfavourable. SpaceX says there is a backup launch opportunity at 3:14 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

In addition to the launch, viewers can also tune into NASA's coverage of the Falcon 9's arrival and docking at the space station, which is due to take place at about 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday. NASA TV coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. that morning.

The upcoming ISS resupply mission is called CRS-23, as it is SpaceX's 23rd Commercial Resupply Services mission.

2021 has been a busy year for SpaceX. The rocket company has launched 20 Falcon 9s so far, 19 of which have been re-used, according to SpaceXStats. A further 11 launches are planned. This means the company is on pace to surpass the number of launches in 2020.

However, SpaceX has experienced a dry spell over the past couple of months having launched no rockets at all.

This is partly due to the company pausing the usually frequent Starlink satellite launches in order to work on a new laser-link system that will allow the satellites to beam internet signals to each other, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell told the 36th annual Space Symposium on Tuesday according to Space.com. Starlink launches are due to resume in September.

The cargo that SpaceX is responsible for delivering to the ISS this weekend includes science investigations, supplies and other equipment.

It will be stored inside one of SpaceX's Dragon cargo vessels. The particular model has flown once before, having supported the CRS-21 mission as well.

The Falcon 9 booster that will launch the mission has flown three times before. The same booster supported the manned Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions to ferry astronauts to the ISS and also launched the SXM-8 audio radio satellite.

Demo-1 mission
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule is rolled out before the Demo-1 mission on February 2019 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Both the Falcon 9 and Dragon models are reusable. Joel Kowsky/Getty / NASA