A newly launched SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft heading to the International Space Station (ISS) was seen going into orbit on Saturday morning.
SpaceX Dragon became the sixth spacecraft currently stored at the space station after docking autonomously, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA tweeted a video of SpaceX Dragon nearing the station.
"The SpaceX cargo Dragon flies into orbital daytime as it continues to approach the Space Station for docking this morning," the space agency tweeted.
What Did SpaceX Dragon Carry?
The 7,300-pound (3,300-kg) supply, which contains fresh lemons, onions, avocados, and cherry tomatoes for the station's seven astronauts, is expected to arrive on Saturday.
"Success! A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching today at 1:29 pm ET from NASA Kennedy in Florida, carrying more than 7,300 pounds of science experiments, new solar arrays, and other cargo," NASA tweeted.
🚀✅ Success! A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching today at 1:29pm ET from @NASAKennedy in Florida, carrying more than 7,300 pounds of science experiments, new solar arrays, & other cargo: https://t.co/JGprErjk60 pic.twitter.com/ihnV5htGqI— NASA (@NASA) June 3, 2021
The spacecraft took off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A on a Falcon 9 rocket, Science Times reported. NASA announced that it would launch a Falcon 9 rocket on June 3 at 1:29 p.m. ET as part of Space X's 22nd cargo mission. Science Times reported that it would send micro-animals into space. These include 5,000 tardigrades dubbed "water bears," 28 glow-in-the-dark baby squids, Butterfly IQ Ultrasound, and new solar panels.
The new ISS Roll-out Solar Arrays (iROSA) will be delivered to the space station in the trunk of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on this 22nd contracted resupply mission.
The robotic Canadarm2 will extract the arrays once the Dragon docks to the Harmony module of the space station, and astronauts install them during spacewalks scheduled for June 16 and 20.
Why Are Microscopic Beings Being Delivered to the International Space Station in the First Place?
According to News18, the tiny animals being flown to the International Space Station (ISS) will be used to research "stress variables" that impact astronauts in space. In addition, the water critters will assist scientists in developing better safety measures for astronauts who will be traveling to space for extended periods. This project aims to learn more about how helpful bacteria interact with animals, which will aid scientists in improving human conditions on the planet.
Water bears and other small animals are part of the project, which could help scientists better understand how these critters and animals adapt to extreme environments on Earth and high pressure, temperature, and radiation. Tardigrades, often known as water bears, are eight-legged, segmented micro animals that can survive in harshest environments. As a result, astronauts are supporting NASA in better understanding the creature's variations on Earth and in space.
On April 11, 2019, the Israeli spacecraft SpacelL's Beresheet fell on the moon's surface. It carried water bears, DNA samples, tardigrades, and 30 million little digitized pages of human society and culture. The tardigrades and human DNA were added to the mission at the last minute. According to Wire, thousands of tardigrades were poured onto the sticky tape that held the archive in place. Cretaceous fossils were locked in amber, DNA samples and tardigrades were sealed in a resin layer protecting the DVD-size lunar library, and thousands of tardigrades were poured onto the sticky tape that held the archive in place.
The SpaceX rocket carrying these life-forms organisms escaped the crash this time because it was preserved in a dehydrated 'tun' state, a stage in which the body dries up and appears as a dead ball; Tardigrades can survive as tuns for years or even decades.
Check out more news and information on SpaceX on Science Times.