SpaceX Falcon 9's Rocket Dragon Launches To ISS

Steve Phelps
April 4, 2018

The cargo ship is due to dock at the space station on Wednesday morning and will remain in orbit for almost a month before returning to earth. Falcon 9's first stage previously supported the CRS-12 mission in August 2017 and Dragon previously supported the CRS-8 mission in April 2016.

The CRS-14 mission is scheduled to launch at 1:30 p.m.

SpaceX said the Dragon spacecraft, which is carrying RemoveDEBRIS among other supplies and payloads on Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14, separated from the Falcon 9's second stage around 10 minutes following liftoff, and will attach to ISS on Wednesday.

SpaceX did not attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage after launch.

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Some members of Congress said they were uncomfortable with the idea of using the military at the border. The mission, known as "Operation Nimbus II", was run by Joint Task Force - North, a U.S.

"What's really neat about this is this is becoming the norm, and we like that".

The experiment is important as there are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet - many travelling faster than a speeding bullet - posing a risk to valuable satellites and even the International Space Station itself. In the statement released Thursday, the FCC said it was the first approval of "a USA -licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of Low Earth Orbit satellite technologies". It will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, with about 3,900 lbs. Expedition 55/56 crewmembers will therefore have about a month to unload and repack the Dragon before its scheduled departure. A variant of the Dragon spacecraft, called Crew Dragon, is being developed for US - based crew transport to and from the space station.

The capsule was loaded with almost 2,600 kg of food and scientific equipment, including a study project to research the storms on Earth. There's also the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) which helps researchers better understand and observe thunderstorms and upper-atmospheric lightning from the ISS. The experiment, called the Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (Veggie PONDS), will test a machine that gives nutrients to lettuce and mizuna greens for harvest and consumption in orbit. They've also issued a second contract to run from 2019 to 2024.

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