Christmas dinner is on its way to the International Space Station

08 December, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket into to orbit on Wednesday, carrying supplies to the ISS. As USA Today notes, the rocket's booster was the first Falcon 9 to launch three missions, an important part of the company's plan to reduce costs by reusing rockets.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has made reusability a major goal.

'Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data.

The Space Coast launch Wednesday will be SpaceX's 16th under the company's commercial resupply contract for NASA. The rocket landing was not required for SpaceX's main mission: delivering 5,600 lbs. It's scheduled to arrive Saturday morning. Dragon's flight to low-Earth orbit was supposed to happen Tuesday, but the mission was pushed back a day to replace some food being sent to the space station for experimental mice living there. By the end of the mission, they will have reproduced enough to grow their population to between 2 million and 3 million, the study's principal investigator, Timothy Etheridge of the University of Exeter, told Space.com. According to NASA, the Rocket experiment will test the reliability in space of a dental glue activated by ultraviolet light, while the Groot experiment will explore an alternative method for watering plants in a zero-gravity environment. According to NASA officials, there are two Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which bring crewmembers to the station; two Russian Progress spacecraft; and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft.

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See that small space station?

The timing of the holiday doesn't work out well for three of the crew members now aboard the space station.

Dragon will be filled with more than 5,600 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur onboard the orbiting laboratory. Earlier this week, the company launched 64 satellites (and a art project known as the Orbital Reflector) in what was the largest rideshare mission in history. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20. The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-January.

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