SpaceX supply mission takes off from Florida to the International Space Station

A SpaceX Dragon capsule took off successfully this Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (USA), bound for the International Space Station (ISS), which is expected to arrive on Wednesday with scientific material and equipment for the orbital lab crew.

The 24th supply mission carried out by the private firm for NASA took off from Cape Canaveral at 05:07 local time (10.07 GMT) and about 10 minutes later the propellant of the reusable rocket Falcon 9 landed successfully in the Atlantic, where it has been SpaceX’s 100th recovery since 2015.

After taking off today on the cusp of a Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon, both from SpaceX, will arrive and dock autonomously with the ISS around 04:30 local time on Wednesday (09:30 GMT), and will remain there for about a month to then return with a splashdown near the Florida coast.

The unmanned spacecraft is traveling with nearly 3,000 kilograms of scientific supplies and equipment, as well as gifts and Christmas food for the expedition currently aboard the ISS.

What will be the last SpaceX mission for this year will carry scientific tests to be carried out in microgravity, including "a protein crystal growth study that could improve the way cancer drugs are given to patients", according to the US space agency.

It will also study the feasibility of a handheld bioprinter that could one day be used to print tissue directly to wounds for faster healing during space travel, but also in remote areas of the planet.

It will investigate how to reduce the transmission of bacteria in space, while the manufacturers of Tide detergent will analyze towards the manufacture of a biodegradable detergent that works in space, with a view to long exploration trips outside the Earth.

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The Turbine Superalloy Casting Module (SCM) will test "a commercially manufactured device that processes heat resistant alloy parts in microgravity", and that in the future it could allow the manufacture of parts and spare parts in space, according to NASA.

Throughout its 21 years orbiting the planet, the space station has hosted almost 3,000 scientific experiments with researchers from more than a hundred countries, according to NASA, which added that in those more than two decades the ISS has received 249 people from 19 countries.

SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, this year won an exclusive contract with the US space agency to return US astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972.


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