SpaceX this week successfully launched its Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station, carrying large amounts of NASA supplies,media reported. The launch took place on December 6 from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40. Assuming all goes according to plan, the cargo ship will arrive at the International Space Station this weekend, bringing the latest batch of supplies and experimental equipment to the astronauts.
NASA regularly uses SpaceX as its launch partner to send thousands of pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. These supplies are required; they include the supplies astronauts need to live on the space station, as well as scientific equipment and new experimental devices. Some projects come from private companies that pay to send their equipment to the International Space Station.
NASA says its latest shipment weighs about 5,700 pounds. Although the agency did not disclose all the items on board, it provided details of some of the more interesting items on board. For example, the “Malting ABI Voyager Barley Seeds in Microgravity” experiment will study the malts produced in space and then compare them with those produced on the ground to determine the effects of the microgravity environment. NASA has made a large summary of the experiment available to the public on its website.
As recently reported bymedia, NASA also sent its “robot hotel” to the International Space Station and installed it outside the station to accommodate instruments used to detect ammonia leaks. In addition, other notable projects include research on how astronauts protect their bones and muscles while in space.