SpaceX’s newest Dragon cargo ship arrived on the International Space Station (ISS) Monday (Aug. 30) to ship an experimental robotic arm and a wealth of different analysis tools and provides simply in time for one astronaut’s birthday.
“Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX groups and plenty of thanks. Nobody’s ever despatched me a spaceship for my birthday earlier than,” NASA astronaut Megan McArthur radioed Mission Management simply after docking. It is her fiftieth birthday right this moment.
“That is a most wonderful birthday current,” NASA’s Mission Management in Houston replied.
The gumdrop-shaped Dragon docked with the station’s Concord module at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) right this moment, ending a 32-hour-orbital chase. The station and Dragon had been crusing 264 miles (425 kilometers) above western Australia on the time.
Dragon launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket early Sunday morning (Aug. 29), kicking off the corporate’s twenty third robotic resupply mission to the orbiting lab for NASA. The uncrewed Dragon is full of greater than 4,800 lbs. (2,200 kilograms) of provides and scientific experiments, together with a super-dexterous new robotic arm that may get a microgravity check on the orbiting lab.
“This investigation helps growth of robots to assist crew intravehicular actions and, ultimately, extravehicular actions,” group members wrote in a description of the experiment, which known as the GITAI S1 Robotic Arm Tech Demo. “House robotics additionally may assist on-orbit servicing, meeting and manufacturing duties, decreasing the prices of such duties and contributing to elevated industrial exercise in area.”
One other experiment will check how a tiny drug-delivering implant performs in microgravity, and one more will gauge the responses of varied supplies to the area surroundings.
There at the moment are two Dragons parked on the ISS: the newly arrived cargo capsule and a crewed variant, which introduced NASA astronauts McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, Japanese spaceflyer Akihiko Hoshide and the European House Company’s Thomas Pesquet to the orbiting lab in April.
These 4 astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth in November whereas their crewmates (NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy) stay aboard to proceed their mission. The cargo Dragon will come down sooner; it is scheduled to spend a couple of month on the ISS, NASA officers have mentioned.
Each variations of Dragon survive re-entry, making ocean splashdowns underneath parachutes. This functionality separates the resupply Dragon from different presently operational cargo craft, which expend in Earth’s atmosphere when their missions are finished.
Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the seek for alien life. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.
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