|December 05, 2019 |
SpaceX Dragon Heads to Space Station with NASA Science, Cargo
A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 12:29 p.m. EST Wednesday. Dragon will deliver more than 5,700 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations, including studies of malting barley in microgravity, the spread of fire, and bone and muscle loss.
The spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is scheduled to arrive at the orbital outpost on Sunday, Dec. 8. Coverage of the spacecraft’s approach and arrival at the space station will begin at 4:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Dragon will join three other spacecraft currently at the station. Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will grapple Dragon with NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan acting as a backup. NASA’s Jessica Meir will assist the duo by monitoring telemetry during Dragon’s approach. Coverage of robotic installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 8 a.m.
This delivery, SpaceX’s 19th cargo flight to the space station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, will support dozens of new and existing investigations. NASA’s research and development work aboard the space station contributes to the agency’s deep space exploration plans, including future Moon and Mars missions.
Here are details about some of the scientific investigations Dragon is delivering:
A Better Picture of Earth’s Surface
Malting Barley in Microgravity
Spread of Fire
Keeping Bones and Muscles Strong
Checking for Leaks
These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations providing opportunities for U.S. government agencies, private industry, and academic and research institutions to conduct microgravity research that leads to new technologies, medical treatments and products that improve life on Earth. Conducting science aboard the orbiting laboratory will help us learn how to keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars.
For almost 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. As a global endeavor, more than 230 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,500 research investigations from researchers in 106 countries.
For more information about the International Space Station, its research, and crew, visit:
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