SpaceX Dragon on route to Space Station with cargo
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 26, 2019
A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to deliver the second commercial crew docking port and about 5,000 pounds of science investigations and supplies for the International Space Station after a 6:01 p.m. EDT Thursday launch from Florida.
The spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and is scheduled to arrive at the orbiting laboratory Saturday, July 27. Coverage of the spacecraft's approach and arrival will begin at 8:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency's website.
Dragon will join three other spacecraft currently at the space station. Expedition 60 Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA will use the station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, to grab, or grapple, Dragon around 10 a.m. Coverage of robotic installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 12 p.m.
A key item in Dragon's unpressurized cargo section is International Docking Adapter-3 (IDA-3). Flight controllers at mission control in Houston will use the robotic arm to extract IDA-3 from Dragon and position it over Pressurized Mating Adapter-3, on the space-facing side of the Harmony module. Hague and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, who arrived at the station Saturday, July 20, will conduct a spacewalk in mid-August to install the docking port, connect power and data cables, and set up a high-definition camera on a boom arm.
Robotics flight control teams from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency will move the docking port into position remotely before the astronauts perform the final installation steps. IDA-3 and IDA-2, which was installed in the summer of 2016, provide a new standardized and automated docking system for future spacecraft, including upcoming commercial spacecraft that will transport astronauts through contracts with NASA.
This delivery, SpaceX's 18th cargo flight to the space station under a Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA, will support dozens of new and existing investigations. The space station continues to be a one-of-a-kind laboratory where NASA is conducting world-class research in fields, such as biology, physics, and materials science. NASA's research and development work aboard the space station contributes to the agency's deep space exploration plans, including returning astronauts to the Moon's surface in five years and preparing to send humans to Mars.
Here are details about some of the scientific investigations Dragon is delivering to the space station:
Bio-Mining in Microgravity
Printing Biological Tissues in Space
To overcome this challenge, Techshot designed their BioFabrication Facility to print organ-like tissues in microgravity - a stepping stone in a long-term plan to manufacture whole human organs in space using refined biological 3D printing techniques.
Improving Tire Manufacturing from Orbit
Such improvements could include increased fuel efficiency, which would reduce transportation costs and help to protect Earth's environment.
Effects of Microgravity on Microglia 3D Models
Space Tango-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells examines how specialized white blood cells derived from iPSCs of patients with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis grow and move in 3D cultures, and any changes in gene expression that occur as a result of exposure to a microgravity environment. Results could lead to the development of potential therapies.
Mechanisms of Moss in Microgravity
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 more than 18 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. 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.
NASA TV to Air Launch, Docking of Russian Space Station Cargo Ship
The Progress 73 spacecraft will lift off at 8:10 a.m., on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (5:10 p.m. Baikonur time) loaded with almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the residents of the orbiting laboratory.
The spacecraft will arrive at the station three hours after launch and connect to the Pirs docking compartment on the Russian segment of the complex. Rendezvous and docking coverage will begin at 10:45 a.m., with docking scheduled for 11:35 a.m. The spacecraft will remain at the orbital outpost until mid-December.
See live here
SpaceX cargo launch to space station now targeting Wednesday
Kennedy Space Center FL (UPI) Jul 24, 2019
SpaceX's CRS-18 cargo launch to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been pushed back three days to Wednesday. The launch previously was set for 7:32 p.m. Sunday during a weekend that included the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing. SpaceX didn't provide a new time, but Spaceflight Now reported the time would be approximately 6:24 p.m. Wednesday. "Falcon 9 static fire test complete - targeting July 24 launch fro ... read more
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