Elon Musk's SpaceX sending ISS a new 'hand'

Elon Musk’s SpaceX sending ISS a new ‘hand’

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The most up-to-date business resupply mission to the International Space Station blasts off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in April.


NASA

SpaceX is ready to ship one thing as much as the International Space Station subsequent week that can assist the ISS get a higher grip on issues.

Elon Musk’s rocket firm is scheduled subsequent Friday to blast one in every of its used Falcon 9 boosters and Dragon capsules in direction of the orbiting station. The Dragon will probably be crammed with every kind of cargo, together with provides for the crew, science experiments and a new “hand” for Canadarm2.

The Canadian Space Agency’s robotic arm has a Latching End Effector (LEE) on every finish that collectively operate like fingers to grapple payloads and visiting spacecraft. One LEE failed final 12 months and so subsequent week’s business resupply mission, referred to by NASA as CRS-15, will embrace a alternative.

These robotic mitts additionally permit Canadarm2 to “walk” on its fingers to totally different places on the surface of the ISS. It’s type of like a futuristic, microgravity circus routine, however in gradual movement. 

Also hitching a trip on the SpaceX Dragon will probably be experiments designed to review the expansion of nanotubes and water stress in vegetation, amongst others.

Oh, and let’s not overlook the toy canine representing Lewis and Clark’s Newfoundland. It will trip alongside to have a good time each the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and NASA’s upcoming 60th birthday. That’s an appropriately great distance for a canine to journey for a photograph op with some astronauts. 

The SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage that can increase the additionally beforehand used Dragon capsule to orbit would be the identical rocket that sent NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to space in April. There’s been no phrase of plans to land the booster once more, as SpaceX is utilizing up a few of its older rockets. In truth, this can be the ultimate launch earlier than the corporate switches to sole use of its “Block 5” Falcon 9 provide, that are designed to be flown a number of occasions every with out refurbishment.

The launch is at present set for Friday, June 29 at 5:41 a.m. ET from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch stay through NASA TV and SpaceX’s stay webcast. We’ll remember to embed a kind of movies for you right here as nicely. 

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