Space station astronauts will release a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station today, with coverage starting at 5:45 a.m. EDT (0945 GMT), beginning its nearly six-hour journey back to Earth. The departure is scheduled for 6:10 a.m. EDT (1010 GMT), and you can watch it live here, courtesy of NASA TV. Read the preview story here.



"SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Service-9 mission arrived on station July 20. The Dragon spacecraft will be detached from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module using the station’s Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Robotics controllers will send commands to maneuver the spacecraft into place before it’s released by Expedition 48 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at 6:10 a.m.

"The spacecraft will move to a safe distance from the station and fire its engines at 10:56 a.m. to drop out of orbit and descend back to Earth. A parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific is expected at 11:47 a.m. about 326 miles west of Baja California. The deorbit burn and splashdown will not air on NASA TV.

"A recovery team will retrieve the capsule and about 3,000 pounds of cargo and experiments for researchers and investigators."

Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+