SpaceX Dragon Capsule Docks with Space Station, Brings Supplies and Gifts

March 1, 2017 – 08:31 pm

The SpaceX Dragon is attached to the Harmony moduleSpaceX's Dragon capsule has docked with the International Space Station (ISS) and brought with it some belated Christmas presents and commercial cargo supplies for the crew.

On Monday, Jan. 12, the Dragon capsule delivered nearly two and a half tons of water, food, science experiments and presents successfully to the astronauts.

"The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was berthed to the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 8:54 a.m. EST. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened Tuesday, but could occur earlier. The capsule is scheduled to spend four weeks attached to the station, " noted NASA's blog post.

The mission was led by NASA's Barrry Wilmore and ESA's Samantha Cristoforetti, who used the ISS's robotic arm to ensnare the Dragon capsule and dock it,

The mission comes on the heels of an October launch failure involving a resupply mission conducted by Orbital Sciences Corp., the second of two companies the space agency now relies on to ferry cargoes to the station.

Dragon capsule launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Saturday, Jan. 10, carrying with it over two tons of cargo supplies, as well as materials for over 250 experiments.

The experiments that were carried aboard the Dragon capsule include the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS). This instrument will be installed on the outer portion of the Japanese Experiment Module. Its purpose is to measure the composition, location, dust, smoke, and distribution of pollution, aerosols and other particulates in the atmosphere of the Earth. The data will enable scientists understand how the Earth's climate is affected by such particulates.

The capsule has also carried with it flatworms that will be used for an experiment to observe how gravity can affect the rebuilding of organs, nerves, and tissues. Fruit flies have also been carried for another experiment that will gauge the responsiveness of immune systems to virulent microbes in microgravity.

The Dragon will stay docked at the space station for a month. Post this the ISS astronauts will load the completed experiments and garbage on to the capsule and release it for its journey back to Earth. The Dragon capsule is anticipated to splash into the Pacific Ocean and will be retrieved from there.


Source: www.techtimes.com

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