Squid, Solar Panels And More Slated For SpaceX Shipment To International Space Station – Space
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Dragon capsules vertically at Kennedy Space Center prior to CRS-22 launch. Photo: SpaceX
SpaceX is expected to launch more than 7,000 pounds of science experiments, cargo and supplies from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station, including live specimens of octopus and “water bears”.
The start is scheduled for Thursday at 1:29 p.m. and the weather is 60 percent favorable for the start.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will launch supplies, science experiments, and cargo as part of NASA’s Commercial Cargo program, its 22nd cargo mission for the agency.
The Cargo Dragon capsule carries dozens of new science experiments, including live specimens like tiny squid and microscopic tardigrade, also known as water bears, to help researchers understand the biological challenges facing space travel.
The capsule also carries the first two of six new solar panels from the station, designed and built by Jacksonville-based Redwire.
“We have been developing these with Boeing and NASA since around 2017 to basically give the ISS a performance boost,” said technical director Matt LaPoint. “It is a new state-of-the-art solar system that is much simpler than other technologies on the market and offers high performance advantages, much lower mass, fewer parts and lower costs.”
Once installed, the six new modules will generate around 140 kilowatts, enough to supply the equivalent of 40 households here on earth.
The show also includes fresh groceries for the crew such as apples, oranges, cherry tomatoes, onions, lemons, peppers and avocados.
The Cargo Dragon capsule will be docked at the station for about a month before returning to Earth and splashing off the coast of Florida. It will bring back around £ 3,000 in returning scientific experiments and equipment.
The Falcon 9 missile that launches the cargo mission is a brand new booster. SpaceX plans to salvage the rocket’s first stage and reuse the booster to launch a crew of four astronauts later this year.