Crew-3 astronauts launch to Space Station alongside microgravity research
by Erin Winick Anthony for ISS News
Houston TX (SPX) Oct 27, 2021
NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 mission is set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on Sunday, Oct. 31. The mission includes three NASA astronauts - mission Commander Raja Chari, Pilot Tom Marshburn, and Mission Specialist Kayla Barron - as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will also serve as a mission specialist.
Aboard Dragon with the crew will be more than 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, including over 150 pounds of which they will use to conduct experiments aboard the space station. Here is some of the research riding with them into low-Earth orbit.
Spacecraft guidance in your pocket
The system will be deployed and tested using the station's Astrobee facility, which uses free-flying robots to test new technology and software. If successful, the software could enable future use in multi-spacecraft formations of CubeSats or other small satellites, demonstrating this technology's potential advantages in other robotic proximity operations such as rendezvous and docking.
"Key factors that make SVGS attractive to small sat applications also make it appealing to human exploration missions, where crew spacecraft need to dock with a variety of platforms," says SVGS Principal Investigator Dr. Hector Gutierrez of the Florida Institute of Technology. "The niche for a proximity operations sensor for space applications is currently open. The demonstration of SVGS on the space station is an important milestone to position SVGS in that role."
Better space diets
Resupply hardware for the Food Physiology study launches on the Crew Dragon spacecraft along with the Crew-3 astronauts. Once in orbit, the astronauts will collect biological samples to provide data to the scientists back on the ground for continued study of how dietary changes affect living in microgravity.
Monitoring astronaut health for science
EasyMotion combines targeted exercises with the underlying muscle tension achieved using EMS to increase the efficiency of exercise. On the space station, Maurer will use a specialized EMS suit launching with Crew-3 aboard Dragon to complement his exercise program of running, cycling, and strength training.
In addition to the experiments flying with them aboard Dragon, the Crew-3 astronauts are scheduled to conduct many additional experiments and technology demonstrations during their mission. Crew-3 is crucial for the testing of new upgrades to the space station's Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), including the newly installed toilet, the Brine Processing Assembly, carbon dioxide scrubbers, and two new hydrogen sensors slated to arrive aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon in late December. They also plan to test the printing of fiber optics and a handheld bioprinter and to study concrete hardening among some of the more than 200 investigations during their time in orbit.
SpaceX conducts 2 test firings of Starship 20 in Texas
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 22, 2021
SpaceX conducted two engine test firings of its Starship 20 prototype rocket at its facility near Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday The launch vehicle, a part of SpaceX's plans to travel to the moon and eventually Mars, fired its engines for only seconds. The rocket was held down for a so-called static fire later. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently reviewing a license request for the rocket. It was the massive rocket's first firing using its Raptor vacuum engine, designed for ... read more
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