SpaceX launches ECOSTRESS on MKS

SpaceX launches ECOSTRESS on MKS

On June 29, 2018, SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon ship carrying the ECOSTRESS mission. Start held from the Complex 40 at the station Air Force Canaveral (Florida). After 9 minutes and 31 seconds, the Dragon ship was disconnected from the engine of the second stage

Earth’s scientific instrument, created at NASA’s Pasadena Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and experiments in studying cell biology and artificial intelligence went to the ISS after launching the SpaceX Dragon ship on June 29.

To launch from Complex 40 on Air Force Canaveral (Florida), the Falcon 9 rocket was used. The total weight of the instruments, materials and payload was 5,900 pounds. NASA astronauts Richard Arnold and Andrew Fiestel use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grab the ship. Docking will be broadcast on NASA's website.

The cosmic radiometric experiment ECOSTRESS will provide a new cosmic measurement of how plants respond to changes in water availability. These data will help to better manage the use of agricultural water.

The unique orbital device ECOSTRESS onboard the ISS will allow to observe the same place on Earth every few days at different times of the day throughout the year, providing the opportunity to track changes in the use of water by plants. The current polar-orbiting satellites provide just one image each day at the same time.

Research materials inside Dragon include the study of cell biology to understand how microgravity affects growth, gene expression and the ability of a model bacterium to transfer electrons across the cell membrane along the bacteria it produces. Such bacteria can be used in microbial fuel cells to create electricity from waste organic material.

The observational study of CIMON aims to obtain a first understanding of the support of the crew by artificial intelligence. Among the equipment is also present a spare Canadian collector LEE for Canadarm2.

This is the 15th delivery for SpaceX on the ISS, performed under a contract with NASA. Dragon plans to leave the station in August and return to Earth with 3800 pounds of research and equipment.

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