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Satellite spots SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon from orbit ahead of cargo launch to space station (photos)

A satellite image captured Aug. 27, 2021 shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship on Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ahead of the company's 23rd cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

A satellite image captured Aug. 27, 2021 shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship on Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ahead of the company’s 23rd cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)

Update for 3:32 a.m. ET: Saturday’s planned launch of the SpaceX Dragon CRS-23 mission has been scrubbed due to weather. The next available launch opportunity is on Sunday (Aug. 29) at 3:14 a.m. EDT (0714 GMT). Read the full story. 


As launch preparations were underway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Friday (Aug. 27) ahead of SpaceX’s 23rd cargo launch to the International Space Station, a satellite captured images of the rocket from space. 

On Friday Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-2 satellite spotted SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spacecraft from orbit. “We got a nice look through the clouds at LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida of @SpaceX’s #Falcon9 rocket,” the company tweeted.

WorldView-2, which launched in 2009, is a commercial Earth observation satellite operated by Maxar subsidiary DigitalGlobe. It is capable of resolving features as small as 18 inches (46 centimeters) on Earth’s surface.

Related: SpaceX’s giant Super Heavy rocket spotted from space in satellite photo

A satellite image captured Aug. 27, 2021 shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship on Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ahead of the company's 23rd cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

A closer view of the Falcon 9 and Dragon on the pad.  (Image credit: Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)

The cargo resupply mission, called CRS-23, is scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 39A on Saturday (Aug. 28) at 3:37 a.m. EDT (0737 GMT).

SpaceX’s Dragon will arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Sunday with 4,800 pounds (2,177 kilograms) of supplies and science gear for the Expedition 65 crew. You can watch the launch live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos. 

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