Dragon spacecraft on way to ISS

Washington, April 15 (IANS): The US space agency on Wednesday successfully launched SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft that is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with two tonnes of supplies, research and technology -- and the first "ISSpresso" coffee machine.

On April 17, the Dragon spacecraft will catch up to the ISS where the crew will capture it with the robotic arm.

The new research will help prepare NASA astronauts and robotic explorers for future missions to Mars, NASA said in a statement.

The spacecraft was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

"Five years ago this week, US President Barack Obama toured the same SpaceX launch pad used today to send supplies, research and technology development to the ISS," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

Back then, SpaceX had not even made its first orbital flight.

"Today, it is making regular flights to the space station and is one of two American companies, along with the Boeing, that will return the ability to launch NASA astronauts to the ISS from the US soil and land then back in the country," Bolden added.

The mission is the company's sixth cargo delivery flight to the station through NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.

Dragon's cargo will support approximately 40 of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will be performed during Expeditions 43 and 44, including numerous human research investigations for NASA astronaut Scott Kelly's one-year mission in space.

Science payloads will support experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and the Earth science -- research that improves life on the Earth and drives progress for future space exploration.

Dragon will also deliver hardware to support an ongoing one-year crew study known as Fluid Shifts.

More than half of American astronauts experience vision changes and alterations to parts of their eyes during and after long-duration spaceflight.

The fluid shifts investigation measures how much fluid shifts from the lower body to the upper body, in or out of cells and blood vessels, and determines the impact these shifts have on fluid pressure in the head and changes in vision and eye structures.

Tests on a new material could one day be used as a synthetic muscle for robotics explorers of the future.

The spacecraft also will deliver hardware needed for the installation of two International Docking Adapters scheduled for delivery on future SpaceX missions.

Once installed, these adapters will enable commercial crew spacecraft to dock to the space station.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Dragon spacecraft on way to ISS

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.