Website Worth domain valuewebsite worth domain value SpaceX’s upgraded Cargo Dragon provide ship makes 1st Atlantic splashdown - Flowing News

SpaceX’s upgraded Cargo Dragon provide ship makes 1st Atlantic splashdown

A SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft returned to Earth from the Worldwide Area Station Wednesday (Jan. 13), splashing down off the coast of Florida for the primary time ever.

The Dragon CRS-21 mission, SpaceX’s 21st area station cargo supply for NASA, launched Dec. 6, 2020, with 6,400 lbs. (2,903 kilograms) of provides and science gear for the seven-person crew of Expedition 64. After a one-day delay on account of dangerous climate on the splashdown zone, the upgraded automobile autonomously undocked from the area station for the primary time on Tuesday (Jan. 12), and it splashed down west of Tampa about 35 hours later, at 8:26 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 13 (0126 Jan. 14 GMT).

Whereas earlier Dragon cargo missions have ended with parachute-assisted splashdowns within the Pacific, the newly upgraded model of SpaceX’s cargo vessel is designed to land within the Atlantic Ocean, nearer to the science processing heart at NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle in Florida.

Associated: SpaceX’s 1st upgraded Dragon cargo ship docks itself at area station with science, goodies and new airlock

The CRS-21 mission was not solely the primary to land close to Florida, it was additionally the primary to autonomously dock at, and undock from, the Worldwide Area Station. Earlier Cargo Dragons have relied on astronauts working the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple the spacecraft and berth it with the orbiting lab.

Different area cargo supply automobiles, like Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft and Japan’s H-II Switch Automobile, are deliberately destroyed on the finish of their missions; area station astronauts fill the capsules with trash, then use Canadarm2 to ship them off towards Earth, and so they safely expend within the environment. SpaceX’s Dragon, nevertheless, is a reusable spacecraft designed to soundly ship science experiments again to Earth from the area station. The Dragon CRS-21 mission returned with greater than 4,400 lbs. (2,000 kg) of “useful scientific experiments and different cargo,” NASA officers stated in a press release.

“The upgraded cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission accommodates double the powered locker availability of earlier capsules, permitting for a major improve within the analysis that may be delivered again to scientists,” NASA added. “Some scientists will get their analysis returned shortly, 4 to 9 hours after splashdown.”

SpaceX’s robotic Dragon capsule splashes down within the Pacific Ocean on Might 21, 2015, bringing an finish to the corporate’s sixth cargo mission to the Worldwide Area Station for NASA. (Picture credit score: SpaceX)

Among the scientific cargo on board contains engineered coronary heart tissue, organoids grown from human stem cells, biofilms that might corrode chrome steel, zero-g fiber optics and extra.

SpaceX is planning to launch its subsequent Dragon cargo resupply mission, CRS-22, in Might of this yr. The corporate’s Crew Dragon capsule is at present docked with the area station and is predicted to return to Earth with its four-person crew in Might as nicely. The following Dragon launch will probably be one other Crew Dragon, which is scheduled to launch the Crew-2 mission with one other 4 astronauts in March.

E-mail Hanneke Weitering at or comply with her on Twitter @hannekescience. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.

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