SpaceX - Dragon CRS-12 Mission patch.
Aug. 14, 2017
Image above: SpaceX launched its 12th resupply mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:31 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. Image Credit: NASA Television.
Experiments seeking a better understanding of Parkinson’s disease and the origin of cosmic rays are on their way to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft following today’s 12:31 p.m. EDT launch.
Carrying more than 6,400 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies, the spacecraft lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the company’s 12th commercial resupply mission. It will arrive at the space station Wednesday, Aug. 16, at which time astronauts Jack Fischer of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture it.
SpaceXDragon CRS-12 Launches to the International Space Station
Video above: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Aug. 14, sending an unpiloted Dragon cargo spacecraft on a delivery run to the International Space Station. Loaded with more than three tons of supplies and scientific investigations, the Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the station Aug. 16 where it will be captured by Expedition 52 crewmembers Jack Fischer of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) operating the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. Dragon will spend about a month attached to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. Video Credit: NASA.
NASA Television and the agency’s website (NASA) will provide live coverage of spacecraft rendezvous and capture beginning at 5:30 a.m., followed by installation coverage at 8:30 a.m.
Research materials flying inside the Dragon's pressurized area include an experiment to grow large crystals of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), a protein believed to be the greatest genetic contributor to Parkinson’s disease. Gravity keeps Earth-grown versions of this protein too small and too compact to study. This experiment, developed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Anatrace and Com-Pac International, will exploit the benefits of microgravity to grow larger, more perfectly-shaped LRRK2 crystals for analysis on Earth. Results from this study could help scientists better understand Parkinson’s and aid in the development of therapies.
The Kestrel Eye (NanoRacks-KE IIM) investigation is a microsatellite carrying an optical imaging payload, including a commercially available telescope. This investigation, sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory, tests the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations, such as lowering the cost of Earth imagery in time-sensitive situations such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters.
SpaceX Dragon (Illustration). Image Credit: NASA
The Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass instrument will be attached to the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility on the space station, and measure the charges of cosmic rays. The data collected from its three-year mission will address fundamental questions about the origins and histories of cosmic rays, building a stronger understanding of the basic structure of the universe.
Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in mid-September, returning more than 3,300 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies to Earth.
For more than 16 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 to enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.
NanoRacks-KE IIM: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2163.html
Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1114.html
Commercial Resupply: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html
International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter at:
http://instagram.com/iss and http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station
Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Tabatha Thompson/Karen Northon/JSC/Dan Huot.
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