Publicado: Mier, Abril 04, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

SpaceX launches reused rocket and spacecraft to International Space Station

SpaceX launches reused rocket and spacecraft to International Space Station

The cargo is being shuttled atop the rocket inside one of SpaceX's Dragon capsules, to the space station where engineers will capture the spacecraft with the Canadarm2 robotic arm, according to a statement by NASA. The first flight with a refurbished rocket and cargo craft, CRS-13 - which launched on December 15, 2017 - was SpaceX's most recent cargo mission to the ISS.

Looking forward to the remainder of April, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled to take flight on April 12 with an Air Force payload known as AFSPC-11; a Falcon 9 rocket will take NASA's planet-hunting TESS spacecraft to orbit on April 16; and another Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch Bangladesh's first geostationary satellite sometime in late April.

"What is really neat about this is it is becoming the norm", Jensen said.

SpaceX has combined a recycled Dragon and a recycled Falcon once before. Sadly, bad sea conditions in the Atlantic scrubbed the launch attempt, and the booster (B1044) instead attempted a soft landing in the ocean. Monster is booked to leave the station in May and come back to Earth with in excess of 3,500 pounds of research, equipment and team supplies.

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You can watch live coverage of the Dragon's arrival here at Space.com starting at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV. Establishment scope is set to start at 8:30 a.m.

Stuffed with science About half of the cargo inside the Dragon will support 50 of the 250 science experiments that the Expedition 55 crew are conducting aboard the ISS. Included among the science-related cargo is an experiment created to study severe thunderstorms on Earth. The Dragon capsule previously flew on a round-trip mission to the space station in April and May of 2016. While many are no larger than a marble, they still pose a threat to satellites and other orbiting structures: In 2015, a rogue piece of an old Russian weather satellite barreling along at eight miles per second forced astronauts in the ISS to take temporary shelter. You can read about more experiments on CRS-14 here.

Led by the University of Surrey, built by the world's leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, and with technology on board designed by Airbus, the RemoveDEBRIS mission will experiment with cost effective technologies that could be used to tackle the problem of space junk. But there's more to SpaceX than meets the eye.

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