SpaceX drag docks with International Space Station

Dec. 8 (UPI) — The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft containing 5,700 pounds of cargo arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday morning.

The spacecraft, which is SpaceX’s 19th delivery to the ISS, was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm operated by astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan at 5:05 a.m. At 7:47 a.m., it was installed at the ISS, according to NASA.

Aboard were genetically enhanced “mighty mice,” 36,000 worms and a new version of the CIMON rocket to interact with astronauts. The worms will reproduce 3 million mice in an incubator and be brought back to Earth in a frozen state, Space.com reported.

The mice will help scientists understand how to limit muscle and bone loss in humans in space, CNN reported.

Experiments also will study malting barley in microgravity, the spread of fire

Also delivered were a high-tech toolbox to be mounted outside the station and a new hyperspectral Earth imaging system developed by the Japanese government for use in oil exploration among other things.

The spacecraft was launched aboard the Falcon 9 rocket Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The liftoff was delayed from Wednesday because of strong high-altitude winds.

The capsule is scheduled to leave the space station and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in January, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California with 3,600 pounds of return cargo.

Early Monday morning, a second resupply spacecraft is scheduled to arrive: the Russian Progress 74 that launched Friday morning. NASA TV will provide live coverage of Progress rendezvous and docking at 4:45 a.m.





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