The upcoming SpaceX mission to the International Space Station will be sending scientific systems to the astronauts staying in this space station. The CRS-21 robotic mission will be the 21st for SpaceX in its commercial contract with NASA. The spacecraft […]
The upcoming SpaceX mission to the International Space Station will be sending scientific systems to the astronauts staying in this space station. The CRS-21 robotic mission will be the 21st for SpaceX in its commercial contract with NASA. The spacecraft will depart from the Kennedy Space Center of NASA, heading for the ISS.
The mission was supposed to happen on Saturday before shifting to Sunday due to lousy weather. The company wrote on its website that the recovery area was invisible due to poor weather prompting the engineers to cancel the mission to the next day when the sky would be clear. The company intends to retrieve the Falcon 9 booster for reuse in other missions.
The advanced Dragon payload booster that will be leaving aboard the Falcon 9 rocket has an equivalent weight of 2900 kilograms in cargo, which are NASA’s supplies and equipment for scientific experiments. The research package will include payloads for medical experimentation and other scientific programs.
This mission will be the first in which the advanced Dragon spacecraft has modifications allowing it to host payloads instead of people. In comparison to the Crew Dragon spacecraft, this spacecraft does not have seats and a cockpit full of controls since it will be hosting cargo and not humans. The spacecraft engineers outlined that the spacecraft can contain powered payloads allowing the scientists to carry various species they hope to conduct experiments on.
The payloads on Dragon will consist of tissue chips. This unit allows scientists to plant human cells and tissues, analyze bones’ aging, and depreciate muscles. A perfect instance is an experiment by the University of Florida, where they will be analyzing muscle atrophy in this new environment.
The other cargo package will be hosting brain organoids that the scientists will be using to understand brain cells’ performance in microgravity. This technology could help scientists analyze applicable techniques in the treatment of autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, a payload will be essential in analyzing white blood cells’ behavior in space under the HemoCue investigation. This technology will allow scientists to conduct white blood cell counts aboard the International Space Station.
The other payload will be testing the response of Candida albicans to the space environment. This pathogen can lead to death, especially among individuals who have a vulnerable immunity response. In conclusion, SpaceX is hopeful that the success of this mission can prove their potential in conducting space operations. In over 60 incidents, the company has retrieved its first-stage booster and will be hoping to increase this number.