NASA launches SpaceX resupply mission to space station

NASA has reported SpaceX has launched its Dragon cargo craft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on the 15th SpaceX resupply mission, the agency said.

The mission sends new NASA research, hardware to the space station under NASA´s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

Experiments investigating cellular biology, Earth science and artificial intelligence are among the research heading to the International Space Station following the June 29 launch.

Dragon lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with more than 5,900 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of investigations aboard the space station.

NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel used the space station´s Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrived at the station on July 2.

Research materials flying inside Dragon´s pressurized cargo area include a cellular biology investigation (Micro-12) to understand how microgravity affects the growth, gene expression and ability of a model bacterium to transfer electrons through its cell membrane along the bacterial nanowires it produces. Such bacteria could be used in microbial fuel cells to make electricity from waste organic material.

This is SpaceX´s 15th cargo flight to the space station under NASA´s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in August and return to Earth with more than 3,800 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.

For more than 17 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, 230 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,400 research investigations from researchers in 103 countries.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.