SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrives on the ISS on December 8, 2018 to deliver cargo for the Expedition 57
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft delivered a special cargo to the International Space Station on December 8th. Now the crew members of the orbital station will receive Christmas treats.
On board the ship, 2540 kg of materials were delivered for the six astronauts of the Expedition 57 orbital laboratory. Dragon launched on December 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The commander of the ISS, Alexander Gerst, captured the capsule with the help of a robotic arm, when both ships flew at a height of 249 miles over the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the experiments and the necessary equipment, astronauts can enjoy candied fruits, casseroles, green beans and Christmas cookies.
The spacecraft also delivered many scientific instruments for 250 experiments, including a demonstration of refueling in space with the help of a robot, a powerful GEDI laser for studying earth forests, and a SlingShot device that will launch 18 small satellites. There are a group of mice and 36,000 worms participating in the experiments. The arrival of the capsule was slightly delayed due to the failure of communications between the tracking and relaying data (TDRS) satellites of NASA and New Mexico.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is visible near the ISS before it was grabbed by a robotic arm on December 8, 2018
Dragon had to fly away to a safe distance (30 m) from the station, and then in an hour make a new approach. Controllers at the Mission Control Center (Houston) took over the remote control to attach the capsule to the Harmony module.
This is the 16th delivery mission from SpaceX for the ISS under a contract with NASA. Dragon will be the sixth spacecraft connected to the orbital station in recent months. Prior to that, among the visitors was the Union (last week), which brought three crew members, and the ship Cygnus in November.
The capsule will spend at the station for about 4 weeks, after which it will return to Earth. In January, the ship will fill 1814 kg of the results of experiments and other equipment. He will fall in the Pacific, where he will pick up the ship SpaceX.