SpaceX finally launched its 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA on Friday after scuttling several attempts earlier this month.
According to NASA, Dragon lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with more than 4,800 pounds of critical research equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of the more than 250 investigations aboard the space station.
Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in January 2018 and return to Earth with more than 3,600 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.
The US Space agency said astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station. Both the rocket and its payload have a solid spaceflight track record with the Falcon 9 first stage launching a different Dragon toward the ISS earlier this year in June 2017. Whereas the current Dragon visited the ISS way back in April 2015.
NASA's Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor, or TSIS-1, will measure the Sun's energy input to Earth, NASA said in a press release. Whereas the Space Debris Sensor (SDS) will measure the orbital debris environment around the space station for two to three years.
This is SpaceX’s 13th cargo flight to the space station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in January 2018 and return to Earth with more than 3,600 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.
For more than 17 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space, the Space agency added.
A global endeavour, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,100 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.