Dragon attached to Station, returns to Earth in January
by Mark Garcia ISS News
Houston TX (SPX) Dec 10, 2018
Three days after its launch from Florida, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was installed on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station's Harmony module at 10:36 a.m. EST.
The 16th contracted commercial resupply mission from SpaceX delivers more than 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory. Among the research it will bring to station, science investigations and technology demonstrations aboard Dragon include:
The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) will provide high-quality laser ranging observations of the Earth's forests and topography required to advance the understanding of important carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity, and habitat.
GEDI will be mounted on the Japanese Experiment Module's Exposed Facility and provide the first high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure at a global scale.
These observations will quantify the aboveground carbon stored in vegetation and changes that result from vegetation disturbance and recovery, the potential for forests to sequester carbon in the future, and habitat structure and its influence on habitat quality and biodiversity.
A small satellite deployment mechanism, called SlingShot, will be ride up in Dragon and then be installed in a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft prior to its departure from the space station.
SlingShot can accommodate as many as 18 CubeSats of any format. After the Cygnus cargo ship departs from station, the spacecraft navigates to an altitude of 280 to 310 miles (an orbit higher than that of the space station) to deploy the satellites.
Robotic Refueling Mission-3 (RRM3) will demonstrate the first transfer and long-term storage of liquid methane, a cryogenic fluid, in microgravity. The ability to replenish and store cryogenic fluids, which can function as a fuel or coolant, will help enable long duration journeys to destinations, such as the Moon and Mars.
Growth of Large, Perfect Protein Crystals for Neutron Crystallography (Perfect Crystals) crystallizes an antioxidant protein found inside the human body to analyze its shape. This research may shed light on how the protein helps protect the human body from ionizing radiation and oxidants created as a byproduct of metabolism.
For best results, analysis requires large crystals with minimal imperfections, which are more easily produced in the microgravity environment of the space station.
Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in January 2019 and return to Earth with more than 4,000 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk taunts US financial regulatory agency
Washington (AFP) Dec 10, 2018
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, openly derided the US Securities and Exchange Commission in an interview aired Sunday, having settled fraud charges with the regulatory agency over an errant tweet. "I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC - I do not respect them" he said in an interview on the CBS network news program "60 Minutes." Musk had to resign as Tesla chairman under a September arrangement with the SEC to settle fraud charges stemming from a tweet in which he said he planned to take th ... read more
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