SpaceX Sends Thousands of Supplies to International Space Station

James Marshall
December 9, 2019

SpaceX launched "mighty mice", barley grains, and more experiment supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) today.

The Dragon spacecraft also brought into space a new package to make subtle measurements of gravity.

The capsule flying for CRS-19 was reused twice before - in 2014 and 2017.

The Dragon capsule also contains a group of genetically enhanced "mighty mice" that will help scientists understand how to limit muscle and bone loss in humans while they're in space.

Dragon will be filled with approximately 5,700 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur onboard the orbiting laboratory.

For example, the "Malting ABI Voyager Barley Seeds in Microgravity" experiment will investigate malt produced in space, which will then be compared to malt produced on the ground in order to determine the effects of the microgravity environment. Anheuser-Busch and NASA hope to understand how to better use the barley malt in making food, such as bread. It will house robotic tools used to detect gas leaks from the station. The launch happened on Thursday, December 6, from the Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40.

The climb to space went smoothly and concluded eight minutes and 45 seconds after launch when the Progress supply ship separated from the Soyuz 2.1a booster's third stage.

Among that science equipment is what NASA calls a "robot hotel" for the station's two Robotic External Leak Locators, free-flying robots created to sniff out gas leaks on the space station.

Dragon is scheduled to dock on Saturday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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