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Artykuły o Next-generation cargo Dragon
« dnia: Grudzień 12, 2020, 02:35 »
SpaceX launches first next-generation cargo Dragon spacecraft to ISS
by Jeff Foust — December 6, 2020 [SN]


The Dragon cargo spacecraft separates from the Falcon 9 upper stage after launch Dec. 6. Visible in the trunk section of the Dragon is the Bishop airlock developed by Nanoracks. Credit: NASA TV

WASHINGTON — SpaceX launched the first of a new generation of Dragon cargo spacecraft Dec. 6, carrying experiments and supplies to the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex (LC) 39A at 11:17 a.m. Eastern after a one-day delay caused by weather. It deployed the Dragon cargo spacecraft nearly 12 minutes after liftoff. The rocket’s first stage, previously used for the Demo-2 commercial crew mission in May then for launches of the ANASIS-2 satellite and a set of Starlink satellites, landed on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Dragon, flying a mission designated CRS-21, is carrying 2,972 kilograms of cargo, both within the spacecraft itself and in its external trunk. It is scheduled to dock autonomously with the zenith port of the space station’s Harmony module at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Dec. 7.

CRS-21 is the first mission in SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract, which uses a version of the Crew Dragon spacecraft developed for the commercial crew program. “What you see on the outside, the exterior, is the same outer mold line” between the crew and cargo versions, said Sarah Walker, director of Dragon mission management at SpaceX, at a Dec. 4 prelaunch briefing. The biggest difference, she noted, is the lack of SuperDraco abort thrusters on the cargo version.

The interior is redesigned to accommodate cargo, with about 20% more volume than the first-generation cargo Dragon. The spacecraft can host eight powered lockers for research payloads at launch and 12 for its return to Earth, compared to six such lockers on both launch and return for the earlier Dragon version. Dragon can support more lockers for return than at launch since it can use additional power that, at launch, is needed for external payloads.

Walker noted that the new Dragon can stay at the ISS for up to 75 days, twice as long as the original version, although for this mission it will be docked to the station for about 35 days. The spacecraft, which can dock directly with the station rather than being berthed by the station’s robotic arm, is designed to be used at least five times.

While original cargo Dragon missions launched from both LC-39A as well as nearby Space Launch Complex 40, Walker said SpaceX plans to use LC-39A for cargo Dragon missions in the future, taking advantage of the crew access arm there for loading time-sensitive cargo. “That is a huge advantage for us to be able to perform late-load cargo while the vehicle is already vertical,” she said. “It allows us to do it even closer to T-0.”

Like Crew Dragon, the new cargo Dragon will splash down just off the Florida coast, rather than in the Pacific hundreds of kilometers from California as the first-generation Dragon cargo spacecraft. That will enable some research payloads to be handed over to scientists as soon as four hours after splashdown. “It’s a really critical capability for biological payloads,” said Kirt Costello, chief scientist for the ISS program office at NASA, at the prelaunch briefing.

This Dragon is carrying a wide range of biological and other research payloads for the station. The experiments include studies of the effects of spaceflight on heart and brain cells, testing of an off-the-shelf blood analysis device, and a “biomining” experiment that will examine how microbes could be used to extract resources from asteroids.

The largest payload on the spacecraft is the Bishop airlock for Nanoracks. The company built the airlock as a commercial facility for use deploying satellites and hosting external payloads. The station’s robotic arm will remove Bishop from Dragon’s trunk shortly after docking and install it on the Tranquility, or Node 3, module of the station.

Nanoracks decided to develop Bishop to get around a bottleneck in satellite deployments using an airlock in the Japanese Kibo module, but the potential applications of the airlock have grown over time. “We tried to make the airlock design flexible so that it can be used in a variety of different ways down the road,” said Brock Howe, program manager for Bishop at Nanoracks, during a November briefing about the mission that included several scientists also flying experiments on the Dragon. “Hopefully, the airlock will be able to provide them with capabilities that will enable them to be very creative going forward.”

“This is a monumental moment for Nanoracks,” Jeff Manber, chief executive of Nanoracks, said in a statement after launch. “We came up with this idea five years ago. In those five quick years, we’ve gone from being known as the ‘CubeSat’ deployment company to an organization that is building the future of commercial low Earth orbit infrastructure.”

The Dragon is also carrying several hundred kilograms of crew supplies, which includes some special items for the upcoming holidays, such as “some Christmas-y food,” said Kenny Todd, NASA ISS deputy program manager, at the prelaunch briefing. He declined, though, to say if there were any gifts on board. “I don’t like to get out in front of Santa Claus.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/spacex-launches-first-next-generation-cargo-dragon-spacecraft-to-iss/
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Odp: [SFN] New-generation Dragon cargo freighter docks at ISS
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Grudzień 12, 2020, 02:42 »
New-generation Dragon cargo freighter docks at International Space Station
December 7, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]


SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station Monday. Credit: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now

A more spacious version of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule linked up with the International Space Station Monday, using a new approach corridor to deliver more than 6,000 pounds of provisions and experiments, a commercial airlock, and a holiday feast for the research lab’s seven-person crew.

Moving through the airless vacuum of space on autopilot, the Dragon cargo ship docked with the space station’s Harmony module at 1:40 p.m. EST (1840 GMT) Monday, wrapping up a 26-hour journey since the mission took off Sunday morning from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The unpiloted supply ship fined-tuned its course toward the space station with a series of thruster firings. After initially approaching the complex from below, the Cargo Dragon performed a half-circle flyaround of the station to line up with the docking port on the zenith, or top-facing, side of the Harmony module.

Then the spacecraft moved in for docking, with data from cameras and laser sensors helping guide the Cargo Dragon to an automated docking. After contacting the docking adapter, the docking system ring retracted and hooks closed to create a firm connection between the space station and the SpaceX cargo ship.

The Cargo Dragon capsule is the first spacecraft to dock at Harmony’s zenith port. With the arrival of the new supply ship, there are two SpaceX Dragon spaceships attached to the space station for the first time.

“Dragons everywhere you look,” said Kenny Todd, NASA’s deputy space station program manager.

Besides the high-tech hardware and experiments, the Cargo Dragon delivered holiday treats including roasted turkey, spicy green beans, macaroni and cheese, cornbread dressing, cherry blueberry cobbler, and shortbread cookies.


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Spaceflight Now@SpaceflightNow 7:44 PM · Dec 7, 2020
Contact and capture confirmed.
SpaceX’s 21st Dragon cargo mission has arrived at the International Space Station with more than 6,000 pounds of supplies and experiments.
This is the first Dragon cargo flight to automatically dock with the station.
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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon “Resilience” capsule arrived at the station Nov. 16 with astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi. The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft is docked to the forward end of the Harmony module.

Hopkins and his crewmates joined NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov on the space station, giving the research complex a long-duration crew of seven for the first time.

With so many astronauts living and working on the station, the Cargo Dragon’s arrival Monday brought more experiments and hardware to keep the crew busy. It was the 21st time a SpaceX cargo capsule delivered supplies to the station, but the latest mission marks the first flight of an upgraded Cargo Dragon capsule derived from SpaceX’s human-rated Crew Dragon.

“I would just like to say a huge congratulations to all the teams that worked on SpaceX-21,” radioed astronaut Kate Rubins from the space station. “It’s pretty amazing to think that less than a month you got four crew members to the International Space Station, and now you’re bringing a vehicle full of world-class science for us to execute.”

The Cargo Dragon docking Monday raised the space station’s mass to 996,828 pounds, or about 452 metric tons, including the two visiting Dragon vehicles, two Russian Progress supply freighters, a Soyuz crew capsule, and a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship, according to NASA. That’s a record for the space station’s mass since the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle fleet.

The station astronauts planned to open hatches leading to the Cargo Dragon and begin unpacking the capsule’s pressurized cabin. Meanwhile, the space station’s robotic arm will extract a new commercial airlock module owned by Houston-based Nanoracks for mounting on the lab’s Tranquility module.

The Cargo Dragon is scheduled to stay at the space station for more than a month until it undocks and comes back to Earth in January with several tons of research specimens and other cargo.



The Bishop airlock module inside the Cargo Dragon trunk. Credit: Nanoracks

The cargo-dedicated variant of SpaceX’s new-generation Dragon spacecraft lacks the Crew Dragon’s launch abort system, touchscreen displays, and seats. The internal volume is instead filled with racks and freezers to hold supplies and experiments.

According to SpaceX, the new Cargo Dragon spacecraft can haul about 20 percent more cargo volume than previous Dragon supply ships, which SpaceX retired earlier this year. The new cargo vehicle can stay at the space station for up to 75 days, more than twice as long as the first-generation Dragon spacecraft, said Sarah Walker, director of Dragon mission management at SpaceX.

The Cargo Dragon can be be reused up to five times, an improvement over the three-flight design of the first-generation Dragon cargo capsule. The new spacecraft will autonomously dock with the space station. Past Dragon cargo missions had to be captured by astronauts using the space station’s Canadian robot arm.

That change reduces the workload on the space station crew and makes the Cargo Dragon’s rendezvous profile nearly identical to the Crew Dragon, but the docking port used by the new Cargo Dragon has a narrower passageway than the connection used by the berthing system on the first-generation Dragon cargo capsule.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus supply ship is designed to berth to the space station with the robotic arm, offering transportation for bulkier items.

The upgraded cargo capsules will splash down under parachutes in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida, rather than the previous recovery zone in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California.

The Dragon recovery vessels stationed at Port Canaveral, Florida, have helipads, allowing SpaceX to remove cargo and scientific specimens from the Cargo Dragon for transport to the Kennedy Space Center within hours, instead of days, said Kirt Costello, NASA’s chief scientist for the International Space Station.



A view inside the Cargo Dragon spacecraft. Credit: SpaceX

“That ability to get science back quickly is so important for space biology because we want to understand whether the effects that we’re trying to measure on orbit are due to the microgravity condition or due to the stress that a participant or a sample might see on landing,” Costello said. “So having those returned to the Cape really quickly and handed over to our scientists is a great new capability.”

The Cargo Dragons, like SpaceX’s Crew Dragons, will be refurbished between missions inside a facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Splashdowns in the Atlantic Ocean shorten the travel time for the spacecraft from the recovery zone to the refurbishment site.

SpaceX says all upgraded Cargo Dragon missions will launch from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, the same facility that hosts crew launches. That allows ground teams to load last-minute supplies and time-sensitive experiments into the capsule using the access arm built for astronauts.

NASA signed a new cargo delivery contract with SpaceX for at least six upgraded Cargo Dragon space station flights in 2016. A NASA spokesperson said in November that the resupply contract has been extended to cover nine Cargo Dragon missions.

The bell-shaped Bishop airlock carried aboard the Cargo Dragon will move equipment into and out of the space station, expanding on a similar capability currently provided by an airlock inside the Japanese Kibo lab module.

“About five years ago, Nanoracks identified a need for customer and market demand for a bigger airlock, and one that could be opened a little more frequently than the Kibo one,” said Brock Howe, Nanoracks project manager for the Bishop airlock.

So far, Nanoracks has signed agreements with NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Japanese robotics company GITAI to use the new airlock to dispose of trash and perform experiments. Other customers could use the airlock to deploy small satellites.

The station’s robotic arm will periodically move the airlock on and off its home on the Tranquility module. The operations plan allows astronauts to mount satellites and experiments inside the airlock before the robot arm removes it to expose the payloads to the space environment.

The Bishop airlock is about five times bigger than the Kibo airlock. The new airlock also has exterior connections to host experiments outside the space station.

“There are a lot of different environments that the scientists can use, a lot of different volumes and scientists can use, a lot of different payload power and data capabilities on-board the airlock that really will enhance their ability to do some really cool science on-board ISS,” Howe said.

Read our earlier story for more information on the Bishop airlock.

Other items on the way to the space station inside the Cargo Dragon include spares and consumables for the research lab’s new female-friendly toilet, live rodents and support hardware for biological experiments, and an upgraded catalytic reactor for the water processing system.

One experiment on the Cargo Dragon mission, named BioAsteroid, will look at how microbes might assist in mining material on asteroids.

“BioAsteroid is an experiment to study whether we can use microorganisms, bacteria or fungi, to extract economically interesting elements from asteroid material,” said Charles Cockell, professor of astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh and BioAsteroid’s principal investigator. “It’s essentially what we would call a biomining experiment, and we hope to learn whether we can use microbes to extract things like rare Earth elements and other elements that can be used to sustain a self-sustaining human presence throughout the solar system.”

The BioAsteroid experiment follows a similar investigation named BioRock, which demonstrated how microbes could extract valuable metals from basalt rock, a material that covers the moon and Mars. Now scientists want to study if a similar biomining setup could be used on asteroids.

Other payloads on the Cargo Dragon mission will help scientists learn more about how spaceflight affects cardiovascular cells and human brain organoids, yielding insights into how microgravity impacts the survival and metabolism of brain cells.

Here is a breakdown of the Dragon supply ship’s cargo load:

- Nanoracks Bishop Airlock: 2,403 pounds (1,090 kilograms)
- Science Investigations: 2,100 pounds (953 kilograms)
- Crew Supplies: 803 pounds (364 kilograms)
- Vehicle Hardware: 698 pounds (317 kilograms)
- Spacewalk Equipment: 265 pounds (120 kilograms)
- Computer Resources: 102 pounds (46 kilograms)
- Russian Hardware: 53 pounds (24 kilograms)


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/07/new-generation-dragon-cargo-freighter-docks-at-international-space-station/
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Odp: [SN] Next-generation Dragon cargo spacecraft returns from space station
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Styczeń 16, 2021, 04:10 »
Next-generation Dragon cargo spacecraft returns from space station
by Jeff Foust — January 14, 2021 [SN]


The CRS-21 Dragon cargo spacecraft undocked from the ISS Jan. 12 and splashed down off the Florida coast less than 36 hours later. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — The first in SpaceX’s new generation of Dragon cargo spacecraft completed its mission with a splashdown off the Florida coast Jan. 13.

The CRS-21 Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico west of Tampa at 8:26 p.m. Eastern. It had undocked from the station a day and a half earlier after original plans for an undocking and splashdown Jan. 11 were postponed by poor weather.

The Dragon brought back to Earth about 2,000 kilograms of research payloads and other cargo from the station. The spacecraft, launched Dec. 6, brought nearly 3,000 kilograms of cargo to the station, including the Bishop commercial airlock developed by Nanoracks.

The CRS-21 mission was the first to use the new version of the Dragon cargo spacecraft, based on the vehicle SpaceX developed for the commercial crew program. It includes additional cargo volume and on-orbit lifetime, and can dock and undock autonomously, rather than be berthed by the station’s robotic arm.

The new cargo Dragons also splash down off the Florida coast. Original cargo Dragon missions splashed down in the Pacific, southwest of California, and could take a day or more to return to port. On the CRS-21 mission, time-sensitive cargo from the Dragon was transported by helicopter to a lab at the Kennedy Space Center within six hours.

The Dragon is the second cargo spacecraft to depart the station in as many weeks. Northrop Grumman’s NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft left the station Jan. 6, three months after its arrival. That spacecraft remains in orbit performing experiments, including one testing combustion in weightlessness, and will reenter Jan. 26.

“We’ve really hit our stride. This is our new normal,” Robyn Gatens, acting ISS director at NASA Headquarters, said at a Jan. 13 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee. “Lots of vehicles coming and going, lots of activity on the station.”

The seven-person crew currently on the station, including four NASA astronauts, is enabling what she called “significant more crew time for what can be dedicated to utilization,” or research activities there. She noted that had long been the goal of the commercial crew program, which enables the station to support seven people rather than the six it could traditionally accommodate when the only means to travel there was via Russia’s three-person Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA has not yet set an end date for the Crew-1 commercial crew mission currently docked there. Gatens said it’s likely to end some time in May, about six months after its launch. It will overlap with the next Crew Dragon mission, Crew-2, whose launch is no earlier than March 30.

That date may slip, though, to accommodate the second uncrewed test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. That’s scheduled to launch March 29, although Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA Headquarters, said at the same committee meeting that the Starliner launch could move up a few days to March 25.

The CRS-21 Dragon brought back to Earth a variety of scientific experiments, ranging from heart tissue cells tested on the station to fiber optic cables produced in microgravity. It also brought back a very different commercial payload: 12 bottles of red wine flown to the station in late 2019 by European company Space Cargo Unlimited. The wine, along with 320 snippets of grape vines also flown on the station, will be shipped to a facility in Bordeaux, France, to see how they were affected by their time in space. That will include what the company called a “private, organoleptic wine tasting” to compare the wine flown in space to wine that remained on Earth.


Source: https://spacenews.com/next-generation-dragon-cargo-spacecraft-returns-from-space-station/

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Odp: [SFN] French wine, live rodents among 2 tons of cargo returned from space
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Styczeń 16, 2021, 04:18 »
French wine, live rodents among 2 tons of cargo returned from space station
January 14, 2021 Stephen Clark [SFN]


SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft departs the International Space Station Tuesday. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now

A SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule parachuted to an on-target splashdown Wednesday night west of Tampa, returning more than two tons of experiment specimens from the International Space Station, including live rodents and a dozen bottles of space-aged French wine.

The commercial supply ship, flying on autopilot, dropped out of orbit and re-entered the atmosphere over the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night. A sequence of parachutes deployed to slow the capsule’s descent to a relatively gentle speed for splashdown west of Tampa, where a SpaceX recovery vessel was on standby to pull the spacecraft from the sea.

The return wrapped up a 38-day mission for the Cargo Dragon, the first in a new design of SpaceX supply ships to service the International Space Station. The upgraded Cargo Dragon, or Dragon 2, replaces SpaceX’s fleet of first-generation Dragon cargo capsules, which flew for the final time in early 2020.

SpaceX confirmed the successful splashdown of the Cargo Dragon with a tweet. NASA and SpaceX did not provide any live coverage of the capsule’s return to Earth. A NASA WB-57 airborne imaging plane was flying over the recovery zone to capture imagery of the Cargo Dragon’s fiery re-entry and splashdown.

NASA issued a statement later Wednesday night confirming the capsule splashed down at 8:26 p.m. EST (0126 GMT).

The Cargo Dragon undocked from the space station at 9:05 a.m. EST (1405 GMT) Tuesday, one day later than planned. SpaceX and NASA managers delayed the homecoming due to poor weather in the primary recovery zone in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Daytona Beach.

The Dragon returned to Earth with 4,414 pounds, or 2,002 kilograms, of cargo, according to a NASA spokesperson.

The new Cargo Dragon capsules are derived from SpaceX’s human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft, which ferries astronauts to and from the space station. The upgraded Cargo Dragon capsule, like the Crew Dragon, is designed to splashdown off the coast of Florida, closer to SpaceX’s Dragon refurbishment facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The closer proximity to Cape Canaveral allows SpaceX to return time-sensitive cargo to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center within as few as four to nine hours. Past Dragon cargo missions ended with splashdowns in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, and it took days for space station research specimens to be transferred to NASA.

The “Go Navigator” recovery ship staffed by SpaceX technicians and engineers was expected to hoist the capsule onboard its deck after splashdown. The SpaceX team planned to unload time-critical science specimens and put them on a helicopter for a flight to the Kennedy Space Center overnight.

The helicopter will arrive at Kennedy’s Launch and Landing Facility, and the cargo will be transported to the nearby Space Station Processing Facility by truck, according to NASA.

Scientists there will receive the specimens to begin their analyses. After a quick look inside the SSPF at Kennedy, some of the materials will be shipped to research teams in California, Texas, Massachusetts, Japan, and other locations, NASA said.

The return of science specimens to Kennedy so quickly after their return to space harkens back to the space shuttle program, when missions brought come cargo directly to the Florida spaceport.

“I am excited to finally see science returning here again because we can get these time sensitive experiments into the lab faster than ever,” said Jennifer Wahlberg, Kennedy Space Center utilization project manager, in a statement. “Sending science up to space and then receiving it again on the runway was definitely something in the shuttle days that we really took pride in, and being able to rejoin that process is great.”

Experiments that came home aboard the Cargo Dragon included live mice that are part of the Rodent Research 23 investigation, which studies the function of arteries, veins, and lymphatic structures in the eye and changes in the retina before and after spaceflight, according to NASA.

Scientists are seeking insights about whether these changes affect eyesight. At least 40 percent of astronauts experience vision impairment on long-duration spaceflights, NASA says.

“Rodent Research-23 was designed to start studying rodent gravity readaptation responses as quickly as possible, making it an ideal candidate for this flight,” said Jennifer Buchli, deputy chief scientist for the International Space Station program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Also aboard the Cargo Dragon: Twelve bottles of Bordeaux wine and 320 cuttings of grapevines.

The wine bottles spent more than a year on the space station after launching on a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship in late 2019. Now back on Earth, some of the bottles will be opened for an exclusive tasting, while researchers will begin a more scientific analysis of some of the wine to gauge how it aged after 14 months in microgravity.

Scientists will look at the grapevine branches — called canes — to assess how they weathered the radiation and low-gravity environment in orbit. One of the goals of the privately-funded experiment, led by a Luxembourg startup named Space Cargo Unlimited, is to learn how the plants adapted to the stress of spaceflight.

Space Cargo Unlimited says grapes and wineries are susceptible to climate change, and results from the space station experiment could lead to lessons on how to grow grapes in harsher environments on Earth.

There was also a biomedical experiment led by researchers at Stanford University looking at how microgravity affects cardiovascular cells, and an experiment developed by Japanese scientists demonstrating the growth of 3D organ buds from human stem cells in space.



NASA’s patch for SpaceX’s 21st space station resupply mission. Credit: NASA

Other experiments returned to Earth included a payload led by researchers at Texas State University seeking to identify bacterial genes used during biofilm growth. The investigation examined whether these biofilms can corrode stainless steel, and evaluates the effectiveness of a silver-based disinfectant, to help designers of future long-duration space vehicles.

Materials from a fiber optic production technology demonstration also came home on the Cargo Dragon. Scientists and engineers will examine the fiber optic materials manufactured on the space station to see if they match predictions that fibers produced in space have “far superior qualities to those produced on Earth,” NASA says.

The upgraded Cargo Dragon spacecraft has more internal volume than SpaceX’s first-generation Dragon cargo ship, which conducted its last mission to the space station in 2020. It also has double the powered locker capability than previous Dragon capsules, and can support up to 12 such lockers for return to Earth, adding more capacity to bring back frozen and refrigerated samples.

“Using the previous Dragon spacecraft, it could take up to 48 hours from the time the capsule hits the water in the Pacific Ocean for it to be back in Long Beach, California. We then started distributing those samples about four to five hours after that,,” said Mary Walsh, Kennedy’s Research Integration Office utilization flight lead. “Now we are going to have early return science in hand and turn it over to researchers at just four to nine hours after splashdown.”

“That ability to get science back quickly is so important for space biology because we want to understand whether the effects that we’re trying to measure on orbit are due to the microgravity condition or due to the stress that a participant or a sample might see on landing,” said Kirt Costello, NASA’s chief space station program scientist. “So having those returned to the Cape really quickly and handed over to our scientists is a great new capability.”

Other changes introduced with the new Cargo Dragon spacecraft include the ability to automatically dock and undock at the station. The first-generation Dragon cargo freighters were grappled by the station’s robotic arm.

The Cargo Dragon’s pressurized compartment can be reused five times, according to SpaceX. The unpressurized trunk is disposable, and a new one will fly on each Cargo Dragon mission.

Before firing its braking rockets to fall out of orbit, the Cargo Dragon jettisoned its trunk section to remain in space before atmospheric drag causes it to naturally re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. The capsule also closed a nose cone to cover its docking port before plunging back into the atmosphere.

The Cargo Dragon launched Dec. 6 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. The capsule arrived at the space station the next day with an automated linkup with a new docking port on the zenith, or top-facing, side of the research outpost’s Harmony module.

It delivered to the space station numerous experiments and a commercial airlock for Nanoracks, a Houston-based company that plans to use the addition to deploy small satellites, dispose of trash, and host research investigations.

The Cargo Dragon mission was SpaceX’s 21st resupply flight to the space station since 2012 under a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA.


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/01/14/french-wine-live-rodents-among-2-tons-of-cargo-returned-from-space-station/
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Odp: [SFN] French wine, live rodents among 2 tons of cargo returned from space
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Styczeń 16, 2021, 04:18 »

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Odp: Artykuły o Next-generation cargo Dragon
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Czerwiec 04, 2021, 01:39 »
Falcon 9 launches cargo Dragon mission to ISS
by Jeff Foust — June 3, 2021 [SN]


A SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft after separation from the upper stage of its Falcon 9 rocket June 3. Visible in the trunk section of the Dragon are two solar arrays, in their rolled-up configuration, that will be installed on the space station. Credit: NASA TV

WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched a cargo Dragon spacecraft June 3, carrying experiments and a new set of solar panels for the International Space Station.

The Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 1:29 p.m. Eastern. The Dragon separated from the rocket’s upper stage 12 minutes after liftoff.

The Dragon, flying a mission designated CRS-22 or SpX-22, is scheduled to dock with the ISS at about 5 a.m. Eastern June 5. This is the second flight of the new version of the cargo Dragon, which is similar to the design used for Crew Dragon missions but lacks the crewed version’s SuperDraco abort thrusters.

Source: https://spacenews.com/falcon-9-launches-cargo-dragon-mission-to-iss/

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Odp: Artykuły o Next-generation cargo Dragon
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Czerwiec 07, 2021, 02:42 »
Dragon capsule delivers 7,300 pounds of cargo to International Space Station
June 5, 2021 Stephen Clark [SFN]


Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy captured this photo of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft approaching the International Space Station on Saturday. Credit: Oleg Novitskiy/Roscosmos

Wrapping up a two-day transit from a launch pad in Florida, a SpaceX Dragon capsule autonomously linked up with the International Space Station Saturday with more than 7,300 pounds of cargo, including new solar arrays, crew supplies, and experiments looking at how spaceflight affects the biology of tardigrades and baby squid.

The tardigrades and squid are part of scientific investigations to examine biological changes caused by microgravity might affect humans. The two solar array wings will augment the space station’s aging electrical grid.

After a smooth rendezvous, the Cargo Dragon spaceship docked with the upper port of the space station’s Harmony module at 5:08 a.m. EDT (0908 GMT) as the orbiting complex soared 258 miles (415 kilometers) over the South Pacific Ocean.

Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/06/05/dragon-capsule-delivers-7300-pounds-of-cargo-to-international-space-station/

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Odp: Artykuły o Next-generation cargo Dragon
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Czerwiec 07, 2021, 02:42 »