Dragon will be filled with approximately 5,700 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur onboard the orbiting laboratory.
The private spaceflight company SpaceX will launch a critical launch escape system test for its Crew Dragon spaceship to no earlier than January 4, NASA announced Friday (Dec. 6). The launch will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and will use a cargo capsule SpaceX Dragon flown twice before, first in 2014 and again in 2017.
SpaceX and NASA originally hoped to launch the test flight, called an In-Flight Abort Test, sometime this month, but an exact launch date was never released. Since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. NASA's research and development work aboard the space station contributes to the agency's deep space exploration plans, including future Moon and Mars missions.
For example, the "Malting ABI Voyager Barley Seeds in Microgravity" experiment will investigate malt produced in space, which will then be compared to malt produced on the ground in order to determine the effects of the microgravity environment. Studying flames in microgravity gives researchers a better look at the underlying physics and basic principles of combustion by removing gravity from the equation. It will house robotic tools used to detect gas leaks from the station. A few minutes after launch, the booster split off from the rest of the rocket and returned to Earth. These capabilities can be applied to any place that humans live in space, including NASA's lunar Gateway and eventually habitats on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
The report said that NAS's payment of $144 million to gear the timetable for two out of the four missions of Starliner was unreasonable, and there was an overspent of $43 million after authorizing the Boeing to go ahead on one starliner mission on the previous year.
The SpaceX capsule has more than just mice for science.