SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft- the private spaceflight company’s 14th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station (ISS) – on Monday, April 2.
Washington: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft- the private spaceflight company’s 14th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station (ISS) – on Monday, April 2.
The spacecraft, carrying 2,630 kg of research, crew supplies and hardware, was lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Xinhua news agency reported.
About ten minutes later, the second stage engine has burnt completely and “Dragon confirmed in good orbit,” according to SpaceX’s official twitter account. Then, solar arrays have been deployed “right on schedule,” NASA confirmed.
Grapple and berthing to the space station is targeted for Wednesday before the spacecraft spends approximately one month attached to the station, returning to Earth in May with some results of completed experiments, as per the US space agency.
Flight Engineers Norishege Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, backed up by NASA astronaut Scoot Tingle, will supervise the operation of the Canadarm2 robotic arm for Dragon’s capture, according to the agency.
After the capture, ground commands will be sent from mission control in Houston for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station’s Harmony module, as per reports.
NASA shared a glimpse of the launch on Twitter:
LIFTOFF! Shooting into the sky at 4:30pm ET, @SpaceX‘s #Dragon cargo spacecraft leaves Earth packed with almost 5,800 pounds of @ISS_Research, science and crew supplies for @Space_Station. Watch: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1lDGLaRNvBmJm pic.twitter.com/mOpoJj4W4y
Almost 5,800 pounds of science, supplies and cargo just left Earth at 4:30pm ET to head to humanity’s orbiting lab – the @Space_Station. The @SpaceX #Dragon cargo vehicle is scheduled to arrive at its new orbital home on Wed. Details: http://go.nasa.gov/2GQ2jTR
This flight will deliver scientific investigations including a study on severe thunderstorms on Earth, on the effects of microgravity on production of high-performance products from metal powders, and food growth in space.
The spacecraft also carried cargo for testing effects of the harsh space environment on materials, coatings and components; identifying potential pathogens aboard the station and investigating an antibiotic-releasing wound patch.