SpaceX's Dragon Cargo capsule docks with Space Station
by Paul Brinkmann
Kennedy Space Center FL (UPI) May 07, 2019
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft docked and bolted to the International Space Station on schedule Monday morning.
It was the 17th such mission for the space company's Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.
Video of the docking sequence on NASA Live showed the station as it traveled at more than 7,000 mph into nighttime darkness over the Indian Ocean. The craft launched on top of a Falcon 9 rocket early Saturday from Florida.
Earlier on Monday, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques used the station's robotic arm, or Canadarm2, to capture the craft and line it up with the docking hatch.
NASA also showed in the video that Dragon was one of six craft parked at the station now. The others include Northrop Grumman's Cygnus cargo craft that launched in April from Virginia, two Russian Soyuz capsules and two Russian Progress cargo capsules.
The crew aboard the station was to open the hatch Monday afternoon to begin unpacking the Dragon's 5,500 pounds of cargo. Most of that, about 3,400 pounds, is pressurized and includes sensitive scientific equipment.
Dragon will be bolted to the spacecraft for about a month for unloading and repacking with around 2,000 pounds for the return trip, said Leah Cheshier, a NASA Mission Control communications specialist.
SpaceX cargo craft attached to Station
The 17th contracted commercial resupply mission from SpaceX (CRS-17) delivers more than 5,500 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory.
Here's some of the science arriving at station:
+ In microgravity, changes occur in human health and human cells that resemble accelerated aging and disease processes. This investigation allows scientists to make observations over the course of a few weeks in microgravity rather than the months it would take in a laboratory on Earth.
+ The Hermes facility allows scientists to study the dusty, fragmented debris covering asteroids and moons, called regolith. Once installed by astronauts on the space station, scientists will be able to take over the experiment from Earth to study how regolith particles behave in response to long-duration exposure to microgravity, including changes to pressure, temperate and shocks from impacts and other forces. The investigations will provide insight into the formation and behavior of asteroids, comets, impact dynamics and planetary evolution.
These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations that 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.
Space station research also provides opportunities for other 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.
After Dragon spends approximately one month attached to the space station, the spacecraft will return to Earth with about XX pounds of cargo and research.
Source: United Press International
SpaceX acknowledges capsule destroyed
Kennedy Space Center FL (UPI) May 02, 2019
SpaceX acknowledged Thursday that the company's Crew Dragon capsule was destroyed last weekend in an explosion during a test firing. "It is too early to confirm any cause," Vice President Hans Koenigsmann during a press conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "This will make us a better company ... to ensure that Crew Dragon is one of the safest spacecraft ever built." Koenigsmann also confirmed, as had been suspected by observers, that the explosion happened Saturday during activatio ... read more
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