SpaceX Delivers Cargo To International Space Station Using The Old Dragon Spacecraft
The SpaceX launches a cargo mission using the old Dragon spacecraft aboard the Falcon 9 rocket from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 3, 2017. The cargo includes food and supplies for the astronauts on the International Space Station as well as supplies for special experiments.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 5, 2017
The cargo weighs about 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) that includes crew supplies, science research and hardware. These must reach the International Space Station on Monday. The materials for experiments involve 40 live mice to investigate the effects of osteoporosis. It also includes fruit flies for studying the microgravity's impact on the heart. Besides these supplies, there are also solar panels and equipment to examine the neutron stars, according to Phys.org.
Falcon 9 first stage has landed at LZ-1. pic.twitter.com/qUANJo402a — SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 3, 2017
The mice study is dubbed as Rodent Research-5 that aims to determine how a protein is naturally created by the human body. This is called NELL-1 that could enhance bone growth. NASA wants to grow bone in space to fight the harmful effects of osteoporosis.
In the experiment, there will be two groups of mice, namely one in space and the other group on Earth. They will receive NELL-1 treatment every two weeks. For the second round of treatments, the 10 mice on the space will return to Earth while the other rodents will receive added NELL-1 treatments, according to Science Alert.
Meanwhile, after the launch, the Falcon first-stage booster successfully landed at SpaceX landing pad, Landing Zone 1. This launch was the 100th from NASA's historic Launch Pad 39A. It is also one of SpaceX's goals to re-use costly rocket and spaceship, which appears to be successful, too.