SpaceX’s Dragon capsule arrived at the ISS with new solar panels

A new cargo ship is now attached to the International Space Station (ISS). A capsule spacex dragon has indeed just docked with the orbital station on Sunday November 27th. The ship was carrying tons of supplies, equipment, including new solar panels, and even ice cream.

The docking took place around 12:30 GMT while the two spacecraft were above the Pacific Ocean. The capsule’s trip was quite short after takeoff, which took place on Saturday afternoon, November 26. The Dragon was launched by a rocket Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA Credits

After docking, astronaut Josh Cassada said on the radio that they were eager to unload the capsule and begin work. Megan Harvey, from the mission control center, replied that the astronauts would finally be able to enjoy a well-deserved ice cream.

New solar panels for the ISS

According to reports, the Dragon capsule carried nearly 3,500 kg of cargo. Among the material, there is two new iROSA solar panels or Roll Out Solar Arrays. These are solar panels that are rolled up and have been designed to increase the energy production of the laboratory in orbit. The latter will ultimately be equipped with 6 iROSA which will boost the energy production of 20 to 30%. Two of these panels have already been installed by astronauts during a spacewalk.

Apart from the new panels, the Dragon capsule also brought with it a wide variety of science experiments. Among the latter, there is one that goes trying to grow dwarf cherry tomato seeds. The goal is to increase the production of food off Earth.

Another experiment will continue what has already been done concerning the study of cardiac tissue cultured in 3D in microgravity. She will test potential treatments that could prevent or slow the development of heart disease.

The CRS-26 mission

The mission of the capsule that has just attached to the ISS is the mission CRS-26. It’s the 26th robotic mission of a SpaceX Dragon capsule to the ISS.

This mission will be a little different from the previous ones since the capsule will be docked longer with the ISS. Generally, a Dragon capsule stays for about a month, but that of the CRS-26 mission will stay for 45 days. According to NASA, this additional time was granted, in part, to allow spacewalks necessary for the installation of the new iROSA solar panels.

SOURCE: Space.com

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