Cargo capsule launches to space station from Florida's Space Coast
A SpaceX capsule packed with around 7,000 pounds of science experiments and supplies is on its way to the International Space Station, after launching Monday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
It’s the 28th cargo mission by SpaceX for NASA, and the fourth time this capsule is making the trip to the station. The capsule is scheduled to arrive Tuesday, about 19 hours after launch. NASA astronauts Woody Hoburg and Frank Rubio will keep watch as the capsule docks autonomously to the ISS.
The Cargo Dragon capsule is packed with experiments and hardware for the astronauts on board the station.
One experiment will observe thunderstorms from space with the aim to better understand how lightning storms affect our atmosphere. Another experiment led by researchers at the University of Florida with examine how plants grow in space, attempting to grow seeds sprouted from orbit during a previous experiment on the ISS.
The mission will also deliver another pair of solar arrays. The hardware developed by Jacksonville-based Redwire will help boost the station's power capacity, joining other roll-out panels installed outside the station to augment the current solar panels.
The capsule also contains supplies for the seven people living on the station, including fresh food: apples, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, various cheeses, and cherry tomatoes. It will remain docked to the station for about three weeks before returning to Earth, splashing down off the coast of Florida.