SpaceX, the CEO of Elon Musk, sent another cargo to the International Space Station. Another importance of this cargo duty for the company was that the company had completed its 50th landing in total.
SpaceX sent the non-crew Dragon spacecraft for NASA to the International Space Station yesterday (March 6). The rocket, which brought fresh supplies to the space station, was also the 50th rocket launched by SpaceX in total.
The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket used on the flight performed yesterday was also used in the Dragon cargo mission in December 2019. The propulsion engines burned their engines again for the landing process approximately 8 minutes after takeoff, and SpaceX, which developed reusable spaceflight systems, made its 50th landing.
International Space Station missions
The Dragon capsule used in this mission had previously reached the International Space Station twice. The capsule was used in space station missions in February 2017 and December 2018. With this mission, Dragon will be anchored in the space station for the third time.
This task has another importance for SpaceX. This flight was the last flight of SpaceX’s first replenishment services contract with NASA. The contract signed between NASA and SpaceX in 2008 was worth $ 1.6 billion (TL 9.75 billion).
The first Dragon capsule that went to the International Space Station in 2012 was the first commercial spacecraft to accomplish this task. After 20 flights, this Dragon version will soon retire. As of October this year, all future refueling missions will be carried out with SpaceX’s updated Dragon 2 capsule.
Crew Dragon capsule
SpaceX, as the name implies, has built a new capsule that can carry crew. Crew Dragon made his first flight about a year ago, arriving at the space station with his non-crew Demo-1 mission. With the Demo-2 mission, which will be held at the beginning of May, a crew mission will be carried out. SpaceX has another multi-billion dollar deal with NASA in exchange for moving astronauts to the space station.
SpaceX uses special systems designed to carry astronauts in its rockets that it has prepared for crewed missions. These rockets have life-life support units, seats and launch-escape system.
Cargoes and experiments
The new Dragon capsule, launched, has a supply of 1,950 kg. These materials include research experiment teams that will support more than 25 scientific research.
These cargoes also include an experiment that can look at how stem cells grow in a non-gravity environment. With this experiment, Emory University researchers aim to understand how stem cells pass into heart muscle cells in a non-gravity environment. Thanks to this research, it is thought that what will be learned will be very helpful in the treatment of heart diseases.
Another study looks at small bowel function. Researchers are sending a piece of tissue to the space station. Experiments that will be carried out there will help researchers better understand the function of the organ and understand the body’s immune system’s response in stressful situations.