SpaceX Dragon delivers cargo (and Christmas treats) to Space Station

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A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship made a particular supply on the Worldwide Area Station Saturday (Dec. eight) simply in time for the vacations. And sure, Virginia, there are Christmas treats on board.

The robotic Dragon spacecraft arrived on the house station Saturday morning to ship greater than 5,600 kilos (2,540 kilograms) of recent provides for the six Expedition 57 astronauts on the orbiting lab. SpaceX launched the Dragon ship Wednesday (Dec. 5) from the Cape Canaveral Air Power Station in Florida on Wednesday (Dec. 5).

Station commander Alexander Gerst of the European Area Company captured the Dragon capsule with a robotic arm at 7:21 a.m. EST (1221 GMT) as each spacecraft sailed 249 miles above the Pacific Ocean, simply north of Papua New Guinea. Gerst and his crew are doubtless trying ahead to the provides packed aboard the spacecraft.

“On this resupply craft in addition they have some particular issues like candied yams, inexperienced bean casserole and even some Christmas cookies,” NASA spokesperson Leah Cheshier stated throughout reside commentary.

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The spacecraft can be carrying a trove of science gear for 250 experiments, together with a robotic in-space refueling demonstration, a strong GEDI laser to check Earth’s forests and a novel SlingShot system designed to launch as much as 18 cubesats from a Cygnus cargo ship already on the station. A group of space-traveling mice and 36,000 worms are additionally on making the house journey.

Dragon’s arrival was delayed briefly as a consequence of a communications glitch between a NASA’s Monitoring and Information Relay Satellites (TDRS) and a floor station in White Sands, New Mexico. A processor on the floor station for the TDRS East satellite tv for pc failed, forcing NASA to modify to a distinct TDRS satellite tv for pc to revive communications with the house station.

Dragon was compelled to again away to a protected station-keeping place 100 toes (30 meters) from the station, then make a brand new strategy about an hour later than deliberate. Flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Management middle in Houston then took distant management of the station’s arm to connect Dragon to its berth on the orbiting lab’s Concord module.

At this time’s house rendezvous marks the 16th cargo supply mission for NASA by SpaceX. The Dragon on this flight, referred to as CRS-16, has really visited the house station earlier than. It delivered provides to the station February 2017 as a part of NASA’s CRS-10 mission.

Dragon would be the sixth spacecraft to hyperlink up with the house station in current months. Its arrival follows a Russian Soyuz crew capsule, which arrived final week with three new crewmembers, and the Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship in November. One other Soyuz crew capsule and two uncrewed Russian Progress cargo ships are additionally docked on the station.

“We congratulate all the ISS group for managing six particular person spaceships that will probably be concurrently docked to the Worldwide Area Station from as we speak on,” Gerst stated. “This exhibits what a profitable science and exploration program we now have up right here, making full use of the one and solely microgravity observatory that humanity has out there for the good thing about all people on Earth.”

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will spend about 4 weeks on the house station earlier than returning to Earth, based on firm representatives. In January, the spacecraft will probably be stuffed with about four,000 kilos (1,814 kg) of experiment outcomes and different gear and launched again into house. It’ll splash down within the Pacific Ocean to be retrieved by a SpaceX restoration ship.

Initially revealed on Area.com.

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