NASA’s SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission Launches

Unmanned aircraft is bringing experiments, supplies, spacecraft hardware to the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Dragon is carrying more than two tons of 4,800 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and spacecraft hardware.NASA

The latest SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is bound for the International Space Station after launching at 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The vessel is carrying more than 4,800 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and spacecraft hardware.

The cargo Dragon, launched on SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services mission, was scheduled to autonomously dock at the station at about 11 a.m. Monday and will remain at the station for about a month.

Experiments include ones to help:

  • Evaluate the effects of microgravity and space radiation on the growth of bone tissue and tests whether bioactive metabolites might protect bones during spaceflight.
  • Discover whether a small, light-based device can capture images of the retinas of astronauts to document progression of vision problems known as Space-Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS).
  • Study the microgravity versatility and dexterity of a robot designed by GITAI Japan Inc.
  • Examine the role of compounds known as polyamines in the response of the small, flowering plant thale cress to microgravity stress.

A partnership between Faraday and Girls Scouts allows troops to play a role in conducting control experiments, including providing them with images of the same experiments that are happening in space. The studies involve:

  • Plant growth
  • Ant colonization
  • The brine shrimp lifecycle.