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SpaceX is about to send a second Dragon capsule to the space station

SpaceX is about to send a second Dragon capsule to the space station
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SpaceX is about to send a second Dragon capsule to the space station

SpaceX is about to ship a second Dragon capsule to the house station

This morning, SpaceX is ready to launch its newest batch of cargo and provides to the Worldwide House Station, however the firm is utilizing a barely completely different spacecraft for this flight than resupply missions of the previous. SpaceX is flying its newly upgraded Dragon capsule to move the products to house — the identical car that the corporate has been utilizing to fly astronauts to the station.

SpaceX has been resupplying the house station since 2012, and for all of its 20 earlier missions, the corporate has used the unique model of its Dragon cargo capsule. SpaceX began growing a brand new Dragon capsule, although, to move folks to and from the ISS. Referred to as Crew Dragon — or Dragon 2 — the car carried its first crew to house in Could. With the brand new model operational, SpaceX determined to discontinue using its outdated Dragon capsule and use the upgraded model to hold each crew and cargo.

The Dragon 2 capsule sports activities quite a lot of upgrades over its predecessor; SpaceX says it may possibly carry 50 percent more science payloads. The brand new Dragon can also be able to robotically docking with the house station. The earlier model needed to be berthed: it might slowly strategy the ISS, whereas a crew member on board the station would use a robotic arm to seize the incoming capsule and transfer it onto an open docking port. Dragon 2 doesn’t want any assist from people to dock and fasten itself to the ISS.

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This mission will carry provides for the station and astronauts, and can also be bringing a number of experiments to the ISS. They embody the European House Company’s Bioasteroid, which is able to check how biomining— the method of utilizing microorganisms to extract components from rocks— is affected by microgravity. The mission additionally could have the primary COVID-19 drug analysis experiment in house on board, to attempt to enhance the effectivity of antiviral drug remdesivir. Additionally on board shall be Nanorocks’ industrial airlock module— principally a big steel cup that attaches to the outside of the ISS— designed to get payloads and different supplies from contained in the pressurized setting of the ISS out into house.

As soon as this capsule reaches the house station, it gained’t be the one Dragon connected to the ISS. On November fifteenth, SpaceX launched a crew of 4 to the ISS on one other Dragon capsule, which docked with the station a day later. Meaning there shall be two Dragons docked on the ISS after this flight will get off the bottom. “It’ll be the primary time that there are two Dragons on the house station concurrently,” Sarah Walker, the director of Dragon mission administration at SpaceX, stated throughout a press convention forward of the flight. “And it actually ushers in a season of steady Dragon presence for the close to future, at the least by way of the tip of 2021.”

The mission was rescheduled as a result of climate issues however is now slated to launch at 11:17AM ET from Kennedy House Heart in Florida. SpaceX is utilizing one in all its used Falcon 9 rockets for the mission, a car that’s flown 3 times earlier than. In actual fact, it’s the identical rocket that launched SpaceX’s first crew of two the station in Could. After the flight, the Falcon 9 will try to land on one in all SpaceX’s drone ships within the Atlantic. The Dragon capsule is anticipated to dock with the ISS on December seventh. You’ll be able to watch the launch stay on SpaceX’s web site right here.

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