SpaceX launches its last resupply mission of the year

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – SpaceX’s launch of the 19th resupply mission to the International Space Station was scrubbed Wednesday, just under an hour before scheduled lift-off. Although the weather was 90% favorable, high upper-level winds and high winds at sea caused a scrub.

A successful second attempt was scheduled for Thursday at 12:29 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Launch Complex 40.

A Falcon 9 Rocket is lifting an unmanned Dragon spacecraft carrying supplies for the crew and dozens of new and ongoing experiments on-board the ISS. This will be the third trip to the ISS for this Dragon spacecraft but the first liftoff of this Falcon 9.

The Falcon 9 rocket will attempt to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship in the Atlantic. The Dragon cargo spacecraft will meet up with the ISS on Sunday, Dec. 8. Dragon will remain in space on the ISS until Jan. 4 before returning to earth with research findings and other cargo, according to NASA.

A few of the experiments launching include a new imaging system for Earth, barley to malt in microgravity, mice to investigate skeletal muscle and bone loss, hardware to measure gravity on the Cold Atom Laboratory and more!

Why Barley? According to NASA, barley has some important components. During the malting process, starches convert into sugars which can be used for brewing or distilling but also food production. According to NASA, understanding how barley responds to microgravity could identify ways to adapt it for nutritional use on long-duration spaceflights.

Mice are being brought to the ISS to study bone and skeletal loss by targeting the myostatin and activin signaling pathways that deal with muscle degradation in the body. The goal of the study is to learn to prevent the degradation of muscle and bone which is enhanced when living in microgravity environments, like the astronauts on the ISS. This will also benefit people with more sedentary lifestyles that come with normal aging.

Another study will look at how flames move, spread and behave in an environment that does not involve gravity. This will be conducted in a confined space to specifically study the physics of how the flame interacts with the surrounding walls and confined compartments.

You can read more about the experiments being launched on the ISS here.

Source: NASA.gov

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