SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on June 5, 2021, to deliver new solar arrays along with tons of fresh research experiments and NASA supplies as part of the company’s 22nd cargo resupply mission.
There are now two Dragons at the space station.
SpaceX had recently launched its 22nd commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
SpaceX rocket carried supplies for scientific experiments including squids, microorganisms to ISS so scientists can study the effect of zero gravity on the interactions between bacteria and their host organisms.
- This is the second mission under new CRS contract of SpaceX with NASA and fifth capsule in last 12 months which SpaceX sent to ISS.
- The mission was launched from NASA’s Kennedy space Station in Florida.
- The Dragon capsule was launched with Falcon 9 rocket.
- The rocket is expected to reach the space station on 12 June 2021.
Falcon 9 Rocket launch vehicle is carrying the following:
- 7,300 pounds of research materials, supplies, hardware and new solar arrays.
- Cotton, a portable ultrasound device called Butterfly IQ Ultrasound, Pilote ESA, a kidney cell model.
- Oral bacteria to test germ growth with Colgate toothpaste.
- Young specimens of species Euprymna scolopes called bobtail squid.
- The species were sent to study the effect of zero gravity on interactions between bacteria and their host organisms.
- The Squids will be exposed to bacteria once they reach ISS.
- After 12 hours, specimens will be preserved until their return to Earth.
- Also, on board the SpaceX rocket is Tardigrades, also known as “water bears or Moss Piglets.” These are microscopic organisms that can withstand extreme radiation, sizzling heat, the coldest temperatures of the universe and decades without food.
What are the reasons for Sending squids, microorganisms to ISS?
- A number of research experiments which will be conducted on ISS.
- The experiment could help scientists in the future to develop techniques to protect the health of astronauts participating in long-duration missions in space.
- One such space study is Understanding of Microgravity on Animal-Microbe Interactions (UMAMI). It is known, microbes play an important role in life, including helping humans stay healthy.
- In addition, NASA wanted to understand whether there would be any effect if spaceflight contained these beneficial microbes and, how flight can affect their role in helping to sustain life.
- Furthermore, the research could also shed light on how interactions between microbes and animals could help promote and protect such relationships on Earth.
- The re-supply process which also includes cotton, a portable ultrasonic device called Butterfly IQ Ultrasound, Pilote ESA, a kidney cell model will help to evaluate kidney stone formation in space and much more.
- Space Exploration Technologies Corp., trading as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.
- It was founded on 6 May 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.
- This privately held company is headquartered in Hawthorne, California, United States.
- The current SpaceX president & CEO is Gwynne Shotwell.