On Thursday, 25th July 2019, SpaceX has launched another cargo mission for NASA. Before this, threatening thunderstorms across Central Florida had obstructed the mission to deploy cargo to the ISS. SpaceX canceled a launch attempt Wednesday citing lightning at Cape Canaveral. But the sky cleaned up in the final hour of the cloud. This break in thunderstorms enabled SpaceX to launch un-crewed capsule atop Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The take-off took place at 06:01 p.m. EDT.
The Dragon capsule has about 5,500 pounds of supplies onboard including various research and technology payloads. It also contains a 3D-printer which will enable the astronauts to print organ-like tissues in the orbiting lab. Even, the payload will deploy a new docking system to the ISS along with a spacesuit. It is a third international Docking Adapter (IDA-3), which will offer accommodation for commercial crew-carrying space vessels. Besides, the cargo capsule consists of 40 mice serving as high-flying research samples. Bill Spetch works as a deputy manager of International Space Station transportation integration at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. As per the official, dozens of new experiments are going up on the flight.
Crew Dragon will require about two days to travel to the orbiting space station. Currently, there is an Expedition 60 crew on the ISS which consists of six astronomers. After reaching there, American astronaut Nick Hague will handle the ISS’ robotic arm to capture the Dragon spacecraft probably on Saturday. Other members of the Expedition 60, Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan, will help Nick in the docking process of cargo capsule. The recently-launched capsule will remain docked on the space station for a month. After that, it will start its journey towards Earth.
Although it is the 18th space supply mission of SpaceX. Among the missions launched to date, it is the third time the company has re-used the capsule. SpaceX has another multibillion-dollar bid with NASA. The company will deploy payloads at the beginning of 2020. The contracts with NASA also include the development of Dragon 2. It is another Crew Dragon capsule intended to ferry astronauts and cargo to the ISS.