NASA announced that SpaceX's next trip to the International Space Station will take place on August 28, only days after competitor Boeing's Starliner failed to launch.
SpaceX's lauch is the 23rd commercial resupply services trip. It has the procedure down to a fine art as it loads supplies and research experiments onto the Dragon spaceship. SpaceX will launch the Dragon on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida's Launch Complex 39A.
Liftoff is slated for Saturday, August 28, at 3:37 a.m. EDT, assuming all goes according to plan.
If Boeing needed a reminder, NASA's Commercial Crew Program is moving forward without it. Boeing hoped to show that its Starliner CST-100 spacecraft could arrive safely at the ISS, dock, and return to Earth.
Still, Science Times said that NASA had to cancel the OFT-2 mission, which had been scheduled to fly earlier this month, at the last minute. Boeing was obliged to return the Starliner to the manufacturer, per Science Times, because of problems with the spacecraft's valves to figure out what was causing unusual problem inside the propulsion system.
SpaceX Cargo Dragon To Bring Bountiful Crop of Research Experiments
NASA said that a bountiful crop of research experiments and more is onboard SpaceX Dragon going to the ISS. For example, GITAI Japan has developed a new microgravity robotic arm that will be used within the pressurized Bishop Airlock. If everything runs smoothly, the new arm will be part of a larger robot design that might one day be used on spaceships, space stations, or even closer to home in deep-sea settings.
Implantable, remote-controlled medication delivery devices will be the subject of another investigation. If the system developed by Faraday-NICE works, it may become a viable alternative to present infusion pumps, which are prone to electromechanical failures and double dosing, among other difficulties. NICE, on the other hand, is non-invasive and contains no moving mechanical components.
Meanwhile, NASA's Materials International Space Station Experiment-15 will investigate how low-Earth orbit affects various materials and components. WTSP said that concrete, spaceship materials, fiberglass composites, thin-film solar cells, and radiation protection materials are among the materials NASA is investigating for their performance and longevity.
If all goes according to plan, such materials might be used in future satellites, observatories, space stations, planetary bases, and other applications.
SciTechDaily said that an eye exam for astronauts will be one of the more surprising features onboard the SpaceX Dragon. It was created by Retinal Diagnostics to search for symptoms of Space-Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS), which is thought to be a result of prolonged space travel.
Though corrective eyeglasses can help, lengthier journeys, such as crewed expeditions to Mars, will necessitate a method of determining eye care. According to the firm, the same technology may be utilized to provide more accessible healthcare on Earth.
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