On January 13, a SpaceX Dragon cargo supply spacecraft returned to Earth from the International Space Station. This was the first time in history that it fell off the coast of Florida.
The Dragon CRS-21 mission is the 21st space station cargo delivered by SpaceX to NASA. It was launched on December 6, 2020 and weighs 6,400 pounds. (2,903 kg) of materials and scientific equipment for the use of the seven members of the 64th expedition. One day postponed due to bad weather in the splash zone, this upgraded aircraft automatically disembarked from the space station for the first time on Tuesday (January 12), approximately 35 hours later, on the evening of January 13 (Wednesday) Eastern Standard Time At 8:26 (January 1
Although the previous “Dragon” cargo mission was completed with the aid of a Pacific parachute, the latest upgraded version of SpaceX’s cargo ship is designed to land on the Atlantic Ocean, closer to NASA’s Science Processing Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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The CRS-21 mission was not only the first mission to land near Florida, but also the first mission to automatically dock and dock on the International Space Station. The previous “Cargo Dragon” has always relied on astronauts to operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm of the station to grasp the spacecraft and park it in the orbital laboratory.
Other space cargo vehicles, such as Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft and Japan’s H-II vehicle, were intentionally destroyed at the end of the mission. Astronauts on the space station fill the space capsule with garbage, then use Canadam2 to send it to the earth, and then burn it safely in the atmosphere. However, SpaceX’s Dragon is a reusable spacecraft designed to safely return scientific experiments from the space station to Earth. The Dragon CRS-21 mission returned more than 4,400 pounds. NASA officials said in a statement (2,000 kg) “valuable scientific experiments and other cargo.”
NASA added: “The upgraded Cargo Dragon capsule used for this mission has twice the usability of the previous capsule powered lockers, which greatly increases the scope of research that can be given back to scientists.” “Some scientists will Their research results were quickly obtained four to nine hours after the accident was extinguished.”
Some of the scientific cargo on board includes engineered heart tissue, organoids grown from human stem cells, biofilms that may corrode stainless steel, and zero-gravity optical fibers.
SpaceX plans to launch its next “Dragon” supply mission CRS-22 in May of this year. The company’s “Crew Dragon” capsule is currently docked with the space station and is expected to return to Earth with four crew members in May. Dragon’s next launch will be another Crew Dragon, which is scheduled to launch the Crew 2 mission with four other astronauts in March.
Email Hanneke Weitering at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.