SpaceX Dragon Returns To Earth Carrying Cargo And Researches From International Space Station
SpaceX Dragon is heading back to earth carrying equipments, experiment results, including 12 mice which is a part of a epicgenetics research.
In a report by Space, the space capsule was released August 26 carrying 1.36 tons of gear. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi facilitated the successful initiation of the the Dragon capsule from the International Space Station to the space. The unmanned space capsule is expected to arrive on Earth 11: 47 am at the Pacific ocean near California or Mexico. It will be then recovered by SpaceX employees.
SpaceX Dragon arrived last July 20 carrying experiments, space equipments and supplies for the 6 crew members stationed at the International Space Station. One included research was about sending mice to study epigenetics and cardiac cells.
In a statement from NASA, 12 mice was sent to the space to live there for about a month. Upon return to Earth, scientists will examine the mice if there are changes in the genetic make up, metabolism and organs of the rodents. The sperm cells will be harvested from the mice and will be used to create embryos using in-vitro fertilization. Scientists will compare the mice and their offsprings for possible abnormalities. This is to find out the long term effects of space exploration to astronauts. A cardiac cell experiment would like to analyze the impacts of outer space conditions to heart cells in a cellular level.
SpaceX Dragon was built by Elon Musk's space tech division SpaceX. It is the very first commercial spacecraft in history to be able to be a cargo carrier for space missions . It was initially aimed to resupply the space station and bring back and forth necessary cargo but NASA and SpaceX is refining the technology to allow the Dragon spacecraft to carry human on several mission on the outer space. It is expected that the dragon spacecraft will have its first manned mission anytime between 2018 or 2019.