A series of maneuvers are required to propel the Dragon toward the station. NASA and SpaceX flight control teams will consult during the final stages of rendezvous for a series of four “go/no-go” decisions that permit the unpiloted vessel to maneuver close enough to the orbiting science laboratory for the robot arm grapple.
Dragon is scheduled to remain berthed to the space station until March 25. Once unberthed using Canada’s robot arm, the capsule will aim for a parachute descent into the Pacific Ocean off Baja, California. SpaceX recovery vessels will be on station to retrieve the capsule and its return cargo of slightly less than 2,700 lb. of research equipment and hardware in need of refurbishment.