CRS-27 Launch

SpaceX Launches Science and Supplies To Space Station

Written By: Jay K.

Published: Wed, Mar 15, 2023 2:59 AM

Latest Update: Wed, Mar 15, 2023 3:01 AM

NASA and SpaceX have successfully launched the 27th resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), carrying over 6,200 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and other cargo. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is expected to autonomously dock with the station on Thursday, March 16.

Following an on time launch, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully lofted the Cargo Dragon spacecraft to an orbit to catch up to and dock with the ISS. The Falcon 9 first stage booster, B1073, flying for its 7th time, successfully touched down on Of Course I still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean.

The cargo shipment includes a range of science experiments that could have important implications for space exploration and human health. One experiment, known as Cardinal Heart 2.0, uses heart organoids to test whether clinically approved drugs can reduce microgravity-induced changes in heart cell function. The Engineered Heart Tissues-2 study, which also uses 3D cultured cardiac muscle tissue, aims to assess human cardiac function in microgravity and test whether new therapies can prevent adverse spaceflight effects from occurring.

Other experiments include the CapiSorb Visible System study, which aims to demonstrate liquid control using capillary forces to improve the efficiency of carbon dioxide removal systems. The ESA Biofilms investigation studies bacterial biofilm formation and antimicrobial properties of different metal surfaces under spaceflight conditions, while the Tanpopo-5 investigation from JAXA aims to provide insight into whether terrestrial life can survive in space and understand the key ingredients that sparked life on Earth.

The cargo shipment also includes the HUNCH Ball Clamp Monopod project, a student-manufactured project that aims to address astronaut comments on the difficulty of positioning video or still cameras in the middle of a module. The project is composed of an aluminum monopod fitted with a camera shoe and ball clamp that can be attached to a standard space station handrail.

These experiments are just a few of the hundreds of investigations currently conducted aboard the ISS in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and Earth and space science. Advances in these areas will help keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars.

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