Miami, July 16 (EFE) .- The Dragon cargo ship, of the SpaceX company, successfully docked this Saturday with the International Space Station (ISS), to which it brought food for the astronauts who work there and scientific equipment, as NASA reports through a statement.
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule autonomously docked with the forward port of the ISS’ Harmony module at 3:21 p.m. GMT today, while NASA astronauts Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins oversaw operations from the station.
The Dragon was launched on SpaceX’s 25th contract commercial resupply mission for NASA by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 00:44 GMT on Friday.
About 50% of the cargo delivered today consists of advanced equipment, among which stands out the Emit (Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation), a device the size of a small kitchen which is the key to the one of the biggest projects aboard the ISS, Earth Dust Research.
The Emit will attempt to decipher how dust from arid landscapes is transported by gusts of wind, with the aim of understanding how these minerals interact.
The analysis of mineral dust, collected from various places on the planet, should help to learn more about climate change.
Mineral dust released into the air can travel significant distances and affect Earth’s climate and vegetation, according to NASA.
For example, dust containing dark minerals that absorb sunlight can warm an area, while light-colored mineral dust can cool it.
Equipment was also delivered to study aging in humans.
The research, sponsored by the US National Laboratory on the ISS, uses tissue chips to study how “microgravity” affects immune function during flight and whether cells recover afterwards.
Another study, “Dynamics of Microbiomes in Space,” sponsored by NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division, will examine with hardware delivered to the ISS how “microgravity” affects metabolic interactions in communities of microbes. of the ground.
Another research for which material has been provided is “Genes in Space-9”, also sponsored by the National Laboratory, on the production of cell-free proteins in “microgravity”.
This technology could provide a simple and inexpensive tool for medical diagnostics, on-demand production of drugs and vaccines.
So far this year, SpaceX has flown twenty-nine space missions, seventeen of which have involved extending its high-speed internet network into space, called Starlink.
The CRS-25 mission is the 20th resupply mission carried out by SpaceX, which has a contract with the American agency NASA to bring astronauts and equipment to and from the ISS.
(c) EFE Agency